Pharasi provides insights into the efforts that the pharmaceutical industry is making to produce and source vaccines to aid in the country’s inoculation effort. Stock image.
Pharasi provides insights into the efforts that the pharmaceutical industry is making to produce and source vaccines to aid in the country’s inoculation effort. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/ ssilver

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we talk about the response of SA’s pharmaceutical industry to Covid-19.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Bada Pharasi, COO at The Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of SA (Ipasa).

Ipasa says it is a voluntary association of “leading international companies dedicated to researching and developing novel medications, medical devices and diagnostic tools.” Formed in 2013, its members include players such as Pfizer, Sanofi, AstraZeneca and Novartis.

The association currently represents approximately 43% of the pharmaceutical private sector in SA.

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Pharasi highlights the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the pharmaceutical industry. He says the first hurdle that they faced when lockdowns came into effect was getting personal protective equipment (PPE) into SA, followed by a huge effort across the world to create an effective vaccine for Covid-19 within a fraction of the normal time.

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

Much of the discussion is spent with Pharasi giving insights into the efforts that the industry is making to produce and source vaccines to aid in the country’s inoculation effort. He also notes stumbling blocks that have slowed down the nationwide rollout along the way and how some of the issues can be overcome.

The discussion focuses on the structure and operations of Ipasa; the companies and organisations that make up Ipasa; the effects of Covid-19 on the pharmaceutical industry; thoughts around SA’s vaccine rollout; issues holding back the effective rollout of the vaccine in SA; efforts being made by private-sector players to improve access to medicine during the pandemic; and ways in which pharmaceutical and other private companies are working to reduce vaccine reluctance.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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