Pharma could propel Africa into the forefront of healthcare

Paul-MillerThe Fourth Industrial Revolution has a profound effect on the pharma industry. New technology assists with earlier diagnoses, enhanced manufacturing capabilities and improved treatment plans by using data to better understand patients’ needs. This is according to Cipla South Africa’s CEO, Paul Miller, who spoke at the 10th BRICS summit, which took place from 25 to 27 July at the Sandton Convention Centre.

‘Data will be the biggest driver behind changes in healthcare and the catalyst for quantum leaps in terms of medical research,’ he said.

The theme for BRICS 2018 was ‘BRICS in Africa: Cooperation with developing countries for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. Cipla was one of the sponsors of the summit.

‘In partnership with Cipla India, we’ve been able to bring affordable healthcare to more South Africans, thereby increasing the number of patients on life-saving medication for therapeutic areas such as HIV, oncology, respiratory and neurological conditions,’ Miller explained. For example, in 2001, Cipla pioneered a fixed-dose antiretroviral (ARV) combination, reducing the cost of ARVs from US$12 500 annually to less than US$1 per day. This cost of this medication has since been reduced to US$0.30 per day.

In Africa, the Ugandan Cipla QCIL facility has manufactured the first batch of a new powerful ARV medicine for first line HIV treatment. According to Miller’s twitter feed, it is the only facility in Africa to produce this medicine under the strict quality standards of the World Health Organization.

Cipla is committed to manufacturing in Africa for Africa. The company has also invested in enhancing its Cipla Medpro Manufacturing plant in KwaZulu-Natal, significantly increasing its production capacity for ARVs.

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