SADC Industrialisation Week 2017 - Post Event Information

Working Group

What level of cooperation will it take from government, donors and industry to implement SADC's Pharmaceutical Business Plan

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 10 August 2017 7:20 AM SAST
Janice Scheckter photo

Moderator: Dr David Katerere, Tshwane University of Technology

Ms Kirti Narsai, SABF Pharmaceuticals Champion (J&J)

The Pharmaceutical working group. Have SADC Sec, NBF, private sector, South African government represented. 

The group have met several times and started looking at the regional value chain. Looked at what would contribute to an enabling environment. 

  • access to finance
  • enabling environment
  • capacity building and skills dev

Mapped out from a policy and operational perspective - what would need to change. Mapped out both from input from all spheres within the Pharma working group. These will be turned into projects. 

The way forward

  • need broader consultation on the document
  • would like to circulate 
  • need to prioritise and source funding
  • initiate and implement

Dr Judy Coates, Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa (IPASA)

  • a trade association with 26 members from a range of therapeutic members but all must do r&d
  • support initiative to drive industrialisation 
  • support of various harmonisation efforts - engage through regulatory orgs

Current challenges

  • delays in new product approvals
  • minimum order quantities - needs to be economies of scale (impacted by country specific labelling requirements)
  • GMP inspections of manufacturing and packaging and delays

Considerations to overcome challenges

  • prior recognition
  • perform GMP inspections
  • standardise labelling across the SADC region 


Lists countries and specific policies, regulations and guidelines

Mr Godfrey Keele, SAGMA

Southern Africa Generic Medicines Assoc. 

Funded by a UN agency. They represent 51% of the member states of SADC. (national and individual companies) 

Support initiatives that promote health. In line with the sustainable development goals support reduction of unemployment. 

Programs that are supported in the region. Have been quite critical of orgs to open markets for member countries. Have had success from the global fund - will priorities Africa within specific areas. Also working with the AU to provide funding for pharma. Playing a key role in stimulating dialogue. At the beginning of this year - PharmaConnect was run for members. 

Mr Christian Whiteboy, Adcock Ingram

All pharmaceutical manufacture facilities - all under utilised. 

Been based in Tanzania and East Africa's problems are the same as ours. 

Considerations for supply within SADC

  • raw material supply into SADC - lead times and cost of holding stock
  • skills and knowledge in SADC (are we developing those skills)
  • manufacturing capability in SADC - limited, underdeveloped
  • Distribution networks in SADC - infrastructure issues
  • support for member supply 

Mr Celestine Kumire, SAPAM

Government should mandate private sector in driving broader manufacture. for companies in the region to benefit they need to engage differently. When it comes to donors and funders we would also like to see them responding more positively. The role of civil society organisation in making government more accountable is known. We would like to see civil society continuously reminding the relevant government ministries of their mandate. Regarding the revised Pharmaceutical Business Plan let's see civil society keep those responsible accountable. Industry needs to actively participate and be involved. 

Open to the floor:

1. Concerned to see the requirement of WHO pre-qualification. Doesn't think the emphasis should be to just harmonise but rather improve the qualification across the region. 

2. Is the business plan available (YES) 

3. Spoke about the movement of goods and the demands in some countries to go through specific offices. Dr JC mentioned that this was a common practice across a number of Southern African countries. Where there is a collection of monies to verify entry of goods. 

Speaker for the EU

Currently working on the formulation of a program. Looking into pharma and agro processing. Idea to focus on the whole value chain of particular products HIV, TB, Malaria. 

Also focus on access to finance, access to markets etc. Limited financing available. Cannot tackle everything. 

Speaker from Portfolio Pharmaceuticals spoke around the challenges around the movement of people. Government believes that it's best to employ the local people but the skills are not readily available. 

Lesley Wentworth spoke to the need to not wait for governments to do what's required, but rather just get on with it. (check document).

Speaker from dti (Department of Trade and Technology) mentioned that there is a plan in progress for pharmaceutical development. 

Mr CK mentioned that the business plan should have included representations from multiple sectors. 


Mr Christian Whiteboy 

1. Pharmaceutical start up is very costly

2. Collaboration, sharing of skills etc not prevalent in our industry

3. Cannot continue to happen where we all just hope

4. When we speak about skills we're quite short-sighted

5. From an industry point of view - yes there to make money but we have to collaborate!

Mr Celestine Kumire

1. Reiterate what already said - what we need to make the Pharma business plan a success

Dr Judy Coates

1. Re-iterate Celestine's comments

Ms Kurti Narai

1. Have to focus on an improved value chain. 


1. There should be clear incentives - may be competitive grants, scholarships. 

industrialisation, innovation, pharmaceuticals, sadc

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