Local drug manufacturers are lobbying SA’s medicines regulator to prioritise their products, arguing that this would boost investment in the sector and make domestic firms more attractive to potential international partners. The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) faces a huge backlog of applications from pharmaceutical manufacturers hoping to register their products, and takes far longer than regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Authority (EMA) to process applications. Health minister's receptive ear  Local manufacturers’ efforts appear to have found a receptive ear in health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who has written to Sahpra’s chair Helen Rees, asking her to establish a structure between the national health department and Sahpra that will determine a list of priority medicines. “I have in this regard also expressed my view that the list of prioritised medicines should also take into account locally produced medicines,” he ...

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