Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi called on the generic medicine industry on Wednesday to invest more into researching the long term effects of antiretroviral drugs.
He said HIV/Aids was a chronic disease which in some cases required people to already start taking medication in their 20s. That meant some patients could end up using the drug for up to 50 years.
Motsoaledi expressed concern about the unknown side effects of such long exposures to drugs.
"Should the generic industry not be investing more in post marketing? It is not an additional expenditure but an investment," he said.
Motsoaledi made the remark in a speech read out on his behalf by Anban Pillay, chief director of financial planning at the health ministry, at a conference on generic medicine in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Motsoaledi was scheduled to address the conference himself but cancelled late on Tuesday night due to an extended Cabinet meeting. – (Sapa, August 2009)
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