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Mediclinic News : South Africa could be a world leader in pharmaceuticals

Title

South Africa could be a world leader in pharmaceuticals

Date

2016-09-01

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News Description

IPASA MEDIA RELEAS Speaking at the inaugural IPASA (Innovative Pharmaceutical Association South Africa) Innovative Medicines Summit South Africa yesterday, Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said South Africa has ambitions to become a world leader in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, based on its indigenous knowledge and expanding science base. She believes South Africa could secure a world leadership role as it is developing countries today which are at the forefront of global scientific discovery. This, the Minister said, was highlighted by pioneering work being undertaken in South Africa in areas such micro-bicides to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission, as well as drug and vaccine development for malaria and tuberculosis. The department has developed an ambitious plan called the “Farmer to Pharma grand challenge”, which involves taking the necessary initiatives and building the necessary infrastructure to improve the drug development value chain. Pandor said the aim is to minimise the innovation gap and to create opportunities for the commercialisation of products and services that will reduce the burden of diseases affecting the majority of our people. Medical research and development (R&D) relating to a wide range of chronic diseases endemic to Africa was the central theme at the IPASA Summit. IPASA is a trade association that represents a diverse group of 25 leading pharmaceutical companies which are dedicated to exploring, developing and bringing innovative, quality medicines to the South African market. The Minister said the pharmaceutical sector is vital to the South African economy and to our science base, and it will continue to be a key component in the enormous health challenges that will dominate our R&D agenda for the foreseeable future. She said given the challenges of innovation, continued R&D progress requires robust support in the form of strong patent protection incentives and cooperation. The development of a strong and vibrant worldwide pharmaceutical industry is of enormous importance to Africa. The Minister noted that South Africa’s scientists were part of a global community that seeks opportunities for new treatments to address unmet medical needs. She said such work will prove useful if we can develop strategic mechanisms aimed at turning fundamental research findings into innovative treatments that are not only available but also accessible to patients who need these medicines. In terms of intellectual property issues relating to patents, Pandor noted that government’s strategy was to address them “in such a manner that will complement existing mechanisms without stifling innovation”. Noting that medicine innovation is a global activity, she stated that foreign investment was encouraged and the government worked hand-in-glove with international agencies. She said we are also striving to create a positive environment that will encourage innovative companies to invest in South Africa for pioneering research - and to go on to develop and manufacture their innovations in South Africa. As an association, IPASA aims to promote a sustainable environment for the pharmaceutical industry to invest in the research and development of innovative pharmaceuticals, contribute to a patient-centred health system and bring the benefits of breakthrough treatments to patients across South Africa.
Created at 2016/09/07 10:58 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/09/07 10:58 AM by Mediclinic