JSE-listed pharmaceutical company, Cipla Medpro SA, announced that it has been awarded an antiretroviral (ARV) tender from government worth a combined value of approximately R1.448 billion for a two year period commencing 1 January 2013. This is a significant improvement on the company’s previous ARV tender which was valued at R633 million from 2010 to 2012. The company’s portion now represents in the region of 25% of the tender.
Between the ARV tender and the previously awarded respiratory tender, tender business between the government and Cipla Medpro will exceed R2bn for the next two years.
Cipla Medpro SA Deputy CEO, Dr Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, believes that the company, in partnership with government and other stakeholders, will play a significant role in contributing to the decrease of HIV infections across the country through its efforts in simplifying treatment regimes and reducing the cost of ARV treatment.
“The pharmaceutical industry’s role in the fight against HIV/Aids should be to support government through patient education, training healthcare workers to enable them to deliver better care and to provide high quality affordable medicines to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS infections.”
The tender will procure ARV treatment for what is now the world’s largest HIV treatment programme in South Africa with over 1.7 million people on treatment.
Ngozwana says that the tender award is testament to the company’s proven track record in offering affordable fixed dose combinations - ARVs that combine all the necessary drugs into one tablet - which is a major step towards controlling HIV/AIDS.
“Cipla and Cipla Medpro SA are known as pioneers of fixed dose combinations. At a time when the commonly used triple combination ARV therapy cost around $12 500 (USD) per patient, our partner, Cipla offered its world class affordable medicines at around $350 (USD) per patient per year. Cipla also went further and made this triple combination available in the world’s first 3-in-1 combination ARV.
“In South Africa, we are able to offer this world-first to patients at under R2 a day. We will keep delivering these affordable combinations as part of the new tender agreement.”
Ngozwana says that the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Durban also significantly assisted in securing the tender. “Our Cipla Medpro Manufacturing facility is one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the country and of the more than one million people on antiretrovirals in South Africa, one third are based in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The facility also employs over 360 permanent staff and contract workers, contributing to vital skills development and job creation in South Africa’s pharmaceutical sector.”
Ngozwana says that the upcoming World AIDS Day on 1 December 2012 is again a stark reminder of the scale of the disease globally. “With an estimated 5.7-million people (11% of the country's adult population) living with HIV in South Africa, Cipla Medpro, in partnership with government and healthcare professionals, remains committed to increasing awareness, offering affordable treatment and ultimately defeating HIV/AIDS.”
(Press Release, November 2012)