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The SA pharmaceutical industry is expected to deliver R73bn in sales by 2025, according to Invest SA’s 2020 Fact Sheet published by the trade & industry department. That’s a significant increase on the predicted estimate of R51bn for this year alone, making pharma one of the most actively growing sectors in SA, and a big contributor to the country’s bottom line.

With the Covid-19 crisis and the race to develop an effective and safe vaccine, pharmaceutical companies and their research & development (R&D) divisions are under considerable pressure to find a silver bullet. This has placed them and the clinical trial process itself under the microscope.

With that in mind, the 2019 Footprint Study conducted by the Innovative Pharmaceuticals Association SA (Ipasa) sheds necessary light on the contributions being made by the pharmaceutical industry locally, and the commitment to a healthier SA.

Here’s the lowdown ...

  • The health department and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) have licensed 276 companies to manufacture, import, export and distribute pharmaceuticals.

  • More than R1bn is planned for investment in upcoming and ongoing clinical trials. It is estimated that over the past five years alone, pharma has spent about R2.95bn in this regard in SA.

  • Measuring the return from pharmaceutical innovation shows that at 7%, the pharmaceutical industry has one of the highest R&D intensities of any sector globally.

  • Domestic manufacturing pharmaceutical companies almost exclusively produce generic products, with SA companies being mostly import-dependent.

  • The value of locally produced drugs will reach a value of R9bn by 2021.

  • By the end of this year, Ipasa member companies will have generated more than 6bn worth of revenue through their local operations for manufacturing and distribution partners.

  • With 25% of the world’s burden of disease, only 2% of all clinical trials are conducted in Africa.

  • Since 2016, more than 100,000 people in SA have participated in more than 380 interventional clinical trials on drug treatments.

  • The pharmaceutical sector invests in knowledge, skills and technology transfer, to 4,700 jobs directly and another 14,000 indirectly in SA.

Join Ipasa in partnership with Business Day Dialogues to hear about the value of accurate health-care reporting, and the role that pharmaceutical companies play in supporting the SA economy during the Covid-19 crisis. We’ll also look at how to bridge the gap between the pharmaceutical industry and the media.

Speakers include:

  • Joanne Joseph, TV news anchor
  • Bada Pharasi, Ipasa COO
  • Rhulani Nhlaniki, cluster lead for Sub-Saharan Africa and SA country manager at Pfizer
  • Tamar Khan, science, health and education writer, Business Day and FM
  • Mia Malan, editor-in-chief, Bhekisisa

Date: Thursday, November 12 
Time: 9am

Join the online discussion on how the pharmaceutical industry is resuscitating the economy on November 12 at 9am. Picture: PEXELS/CHOKNITI KHONGCHUM
Join the online discussion on how the pharmaceutical industry is resuscitating the economy on November 12 at 9am. Picture: PEXELS/CHOKNITI KHONGCHUM
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