The outbreak of African swine fever that continues to ravage pig populations in China, parts of Europe and Africa has had an unexpected casualty: blood-thinning medication. A key ingredient for the blood-thinning medication Heparin is pig mucosa, which is found in the intestines of pigs. The medication is used for heart surgery, dialysis and to treat deep-vein thrombosis. With China, which farms more than 50% of the world's pigs, having to cull large numbers to contain the African swine fever outbreak, the cost of this medication is expected to rise. For SA's biggest pharamaceutical company, JSE-listed Aspen, whose core business includes Heparin, this could present an opportunity to gain market share. Analysts say the company could gain market share because its supply chain is not in China. Germany and France are the European manufactures of Aspen's Heparin and both countries are free of African swine fever, according to the latest World Organisation for Animal Health update. And th...

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