Davies: SA to spend R24bn on HIV drugs

Nov 18 2014 08:45

Port Elizabeth - South Africa plans to spend $2.2bn (R24bn) over two years to buy HIV/Aids drugs for public hospitals, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Monday, as a study shows the prevalence of the virus is rising.

Speaking at a manufacturing plant of drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare, Davies said the government aims to buy three-quarters of the drugs from local manufacturers.

"We are on the cusp of a very important tender worth R24bn by the department of health that is for the procurement of anti-retrovirals for 2015," Davies told reporters at Aspen's factory in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa awarded a $667m two-year contract in 2012 to pharmaceutical firms including the country's biggest, Aspen, and US-based Abbott Laboratories.

Aspen, which won more about a third of that contract, would also be bidding this year and its chief executive Stephen Saad said his company was aiming for more than a 50% share.

South Africa has one of the world's heaviest HIV/Aids case loads and its biggest treatment programme. But despite government efforts to spread the treatment, medical charities warned last year that many clinics were running out of the life-saving drugs.

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rob davies  |  health  |  hiv/aids


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