As part of the activities that marked the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Week in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, on 2 August 2017, SADC launched a Pharmaceutical Business Plan which encourages active private sector participation.

The launch is in line with Article 29 of Component of Protocol on Health (1999) established in August 2004 which places Pharmaceuticals as a priority for improving access, affordability, and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals within SADC Member States.

Speaking at the launch, Senior Programme Officer, Health and Pharmaceuticals at the SADC Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Mthetwa said the Pharmaceutical Business Plan aims to harmonize standard treatment guidelines and essential medicine lists; promote research and production of genetics and strengthen regulatory capacity and supply chain management systems.

“Through the Business Plan we want to establish a regional databank of African traditional medicines, and medical plants; develop and retain competent human resources for pharmaceutical programme,” said Mr Mthetwa, adding that the Plan will facilitate trade in pharmaceuticals within the SADC region and promote operational research in pharmaceutical issues.

He added that the SADC Pharmaceutical Business Plan recognises that Pharmaceutical manufacturing is providing new dimensions and opportunities for growth either in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) or finished products in the region.

During the launch, the youth had an opportunity to share their views and experiences on how to develop new ideas to increase the level of public health in Pharmaceutical Sciences. They also discussed emerging threats for therapeutic failure as a result of limited support to research in Africa and in particular within SADC region.

The SADC Industrialisation Week started on Monday, 31 July and ended on 4th August 2017 and was held under the theme; “partnering with private sector in developing delivering industry and regional value chains”. The main focus of the discussions for the second day of the Week were on pharmaceuticals and infrastructure development.

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