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An emerging country with a dynamic market, South Africa is widely seen as the gateway to Africa. From major multinational pharmaceutical corporations to burgeoning local generic companies, a wide range of industry players are present, developing their best strategy to make the most of the many opportunities within the country's borders and beyond.
Cover art 'Dejected' by South African artist Benon Lutaaya
In just the past few years, South Africa has hit several key economic benchmarks demonstrating the country's upward trajectory. The country recently achieved its 1st Millennium Development Goal (MDG), reducing the proportion of the population living on less than 1 USD per day by half. Additionally, South Africa celebrates its second anniversary in 2012 as a member of BRICS, the international economic organization that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Inclusion into the group of emerging economies bolstered South Africa's global standing and brought hope for a significant increase in trade relations with its fellow member states.
Despite these major steps in the country's development, South Africa still faces significant challenges including the heavy burden of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, persisting poverty, and complicated racial issues. At the crossroads of these challenges, the national healthcare system is affected by major inequalities. Seventeen years after the fall of apartheid, a clear divide still runs through the country's healthcare sector. Fixing the system is one of the government's top priorities.
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa's Minister of Health
Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi explains, "Today, discrimination has been cleared and abolished by the constitution. Unfortunately, we discover that we still have two healthcare systems, which, this time, are no longer defined by law. It is not written anywhere, it is not allowed by the constitution, but it is there, and it exists.... Whether you belong to one or the other is no longer determined by your color, but by how much money you have in your pockets."
In an attempt to remedy this situation, the South African government has launched some major national healthcare initiatives. From implementing National Health Insurance (NHI), to engaging in dynamic Public Private Partnerships (PPP), these initiatives are changing the face of healthcare in South Africa. Combined with a dynamic medicines market which includes both innovative drugs and branded generics, the South African market continues to evolve, revealing new opportunities along the way.
Vicki St Quintin, COO of PIASA