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India’s Cipla wins 2 bn Rand order in SouthAfrica AIDS drugs tender
December 24, 2014, 9:56 am

India’s Cipla is one of the world's biggest producers of low-cost antiretroviral drugs to fight HIV and AIDS [Image: Cipla]

India’s Cipla is one of the world’s biggest producers of low-cost antiretroviral drugs to fight HIV and AIDS [Image: Cipla]

Indian drug major Cipla’s South African subsidiary has won an order worth 2 billion rand ($172 million) for HIV drugs from the South African government.

Cipla Medpro, the South African subsidiary of the Indian firm, has bagged the order as part of the South African government’s 2015-17 National ARV tender.

South Africa’s National Health Department said on Wednesday it has awarded a 10 billion rand ($860 million) tender to four pharmaceutical firms to supply AIDS treatment drugs.

The contract is effective from 1 April, 2015 and will run for a period of three years, Cipla Ltd said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

“We are extremely proud to have won this tender which is not only testament to our high quality product portfolio, but is also in line with Cipla’s ethos of advancing healthcare for all South Africans,” Cipla Ltd MD and Global CEO Subhanu Saxena said.

Cipla is India’s second-largest pharmaceutical company by market value.

Commenting on the development, Cipla Medpro CEO Paul Miller said Cipla is known as a pioneer of fixed dose combinations, following chairperson Yusuf Hamied’s accomplishment of making AIDS medication available for a dollar a day in 2001.

“We intend to continue this proud tradition and build on the foundation laid to continue our quest of providing affordable healthcare to all,” Miller added.

The medication will be produced at the company’s 23,000 square meter manufacturing site in Kwazulu-Natal.

The latest government tender win is the third in the last one year for the company.

India’s Cipla is one of the world’s biggest producers of low-cost antiretroviral drugs to fight HIV and AIDS. The company provides AIDS drugs to African companies for just $300 per year patient compared with $12,000 charged by multinationals.

“What the multinationals were selling in 2001 for $12,000 per patient, per year, we gave at $300. It is possible because we reverse engineered the raw materials. We did it and no monopoly,” Cipla managing director and chairperson Yusuf Hamied told an Indian daily earlier this year.

“There have to be different rules for the developed countries and different rules for the developing and third world countries. The big companies make most of their profits outside India. What I’m saying is that the third world — India, Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America — requires a different system whereby there should be no monopoly,” he added.

Cipla Medpro had earlier bagged a R280 million state therapeutic drug tender in August 2014 and a R345 million national respiratory tender in June 2014.

Cipla had completed the buyout of Cipla Medpro last year.

Cipla shares closed 1.82 per cent up at Rs 629.65 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The market for generic drugs – cut-price versions of drugs that are no longer under patent protection – is growing in South Africa as the government aims for a national health insurance scheme heavily reliant on low-cost medicine.


TBP and Agencies

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