HEALTH: Pharma Sector Woes Continue As DOH Announces Delay in SAHPRA Launch
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The further delay by the Department of Health to launch the much-anticipated South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (SAHPRA) is a blow to the pharma industry.
This is according to Erik Roos, CEO of Pharma Dynamics – one of the leading generic medicine providers in the country – who says that the delay could cost the pharmaceutical sector dearly.
“The introduction of new generic molecules has long been postponed by the overwhelmed Medicines Control Council (MCC), which has a backlog of between three and five years for registering generic medicines.
“By delaying the launch by several more months could cost a company significantly and also wastes precious time in a product’s life. Most importantly, the postponement continues to hamstring South Africa’s ability to provide affordable, generic medication to its people, which it can ill afford given the already poor state of the health sector,” comments Roos.
Generic medicines are up to 80% cheaper than brand name equivalents and is currently only used by 56% of the population. Therefore, the savings could be massive if more generics are brought to market.
He says the industry has long since raised concerns over the MCC’s limited capacity to deal with registrations and agrees that SAHPRA could make a huge difference in streamlining processes that will bring products to market much sooner, but urges the Department of Health to avoid any further undue delays in the launch of the regulator as this undermines the industry’s ability to supply much needed medicines to patients in need.
“We hope that this initial delay is not foreboding of the organisation’s future performance and that going forward, government prioritises its launch to not only revitalise and restructure SA’s healthcare sector, but to ensure a healthier nation,” Roos concludes.
Business News Sector Tags: Health|