Celebrating a decade of pioneering SA’s innovative pharmaceutical industry

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Over the past 10 years, the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa (IPASA) has been instrumental in addressing and advancing the accessibility barriers of South Africa’s healthcare sector.

Ongoing research and development means that South African patients with serious illnesses such as cancer, TB and HIV gain greater access to life-saving innovative medicines and breakthrough treatments. 

As the South African representative of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), IPASA is granted access to the latest global developments in medicines and treatments, and represents 28 leading pharmaceutical companies dedicated to the development and manufacturing of innovative, quality medicines for the South African market.

According to Bada Pharasi, Chief Executive Officer of IPASA, since its inception a decade ago, the organisation has made significant strides in bolstering the South African healthcare sector.

“Most noteworthy is the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Science and Innovation and the South African Medical Research Council that aims to advance South Africa’s objectives to research, develop and, ultimately, commercialise innovative health solutions.

“The vulnerability of many communities in South Africa, particularly during the recent pandemic, has underlined the importance of continued investment into Research and Development (R&D) to prepare the healthcare system to stave off the risk of future disease outbreaks. The intention of the memorandum will help us accomplish this, and more,” says Pharasi.

IPASA has been instrumental in fostering relationships between government and pharmaceutical stakeholders and has established several key partnerships over the past 10 years, including playing a meaningful role in activities initiated by the Department of Health and the Department of Trade Industry and Competition.

Furthermore, IPASA has worked closely with the independent, non-profit biotechnology association, AfricaBio, which has led to the organisation expanding its offering to include health and industrial biotechnology after initially only focusing on agricultural biotechnology. In doing so, it has seen the organisation initiate its first BIO Africa Convention in 2018, which is now an annual event that has continued to be well-received. 

Looking to the future, IPASA aims to cement its place as a trusted partner to the government, particularly the Department of Health, and intends to continue playing a significant role in strengthening the healthcare sector, while championing the critical need for a sustainable innovative pharmaceutical sector.

“Innovation in novel pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical devices is embedded in our mission as IPASA, as well as the member companies in our fold. This innovation is not only about changing the way diseases are managed in South Africa, but about making a meaningful difference in the lives of South Africans,” concludes Pharasi.