BuaNews, 16 October 2002,
By Veronica Mohapeloa
has welcomed the decision by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to
grant a South African drug company, Aspen Pharmacare, the right to produce the
generic version of its antiretroviral drug Nevirapine.
Pharmacare on Monday announced that German Boehringer Ingelheim had granted it a
voluntary licence to produce, distribute and sell the drug, which prevents HIV
transmission from mother to child, locally and export it to 13 other countries
in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
drug, which was recently at the centre of the
this move today, Western Cape Premier Marthinus van Schalkwyk said aggressive
strategies and innovative approaches like these, were key to turning the tide in
the battle against AIDS.
announcement is in line with the province's earlier call on the major
pharmaceutical companies to issue voluntary licences and on the private sector
to get involved in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is threatening
to cripple socio-economic development - not only in South Africa but sub-Saharan
Africa as a whole.'
premier said it had become a global trend for the private sector to get involved
in humanitarian assistance, adding partnerships could most effectively mobilise
the resources required to adequately respond to the pandemic.
we need the rest of the pharmaceutical industry to come aboard as well, in the
region described as the epicentre of the AIDS pandemic, and where more than two
million people died of the disease last year.'
this reason, he urged other pharmaceuticals to follow suit in making AIDS drugs
more affordable and accessible to those living with the disease.
is a fact that besides the money provided by the private sector, pharmaceuticals
bring with them innovative approaches and expertise in dealing with the problem
While this move is welcomed, the new product will only be on the market once the Medicines Control Council (MCC), which regulates the use of drugs in this country, approves of the generic.
According to news reports, it may take more than a year before it hits the market as it takes some time before the MCC can give a stamp of approval.