Generic and Biosimilar Medicines of Southern Africa (GBMSA), formerly known as the National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NAPM), has appointed Erik Roos, the CEO of Pharma Dynamics, as Vice Chairperson to support the existing Chairperson, Lorraine Keyser, CEO of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, as of June 2018.

Over the past 40+ years the association has played a critical role in ensuring that the pharmaceutical sector remains a key driver of economic growth, development and transformation in the country, while continuing to champion affordable and accessible healthcare through the promotion of generic and biosimilar medicines.

As Chairperson of GBMSA, Keyser will be responsible for overseeing the committee, while Vice Chairperson Roos will support the Chairperson in representing the association on the Pharmaceutical Task Group (PTG), which primarily deals with issues relating to legislation and pricing.

As an industry veteran, Roos brings a wealth of experience to the position and says he looks forward to the challenge of working with and representing the GBMSA member companies to shape a more favourable healthcare environment.

His two-year tenure in office will involve working alongside SAHPRA to ensure the speedy approval of medicine registrations, while evaluating the impact that the Health Charter and National Health Insurance (NHI) will have on both state and private healthcare reform in SA.

“We have ambitious plans ahead and I intend on working with all stakeholders to achieve a common goal. I am also encouraged by the recently announced changes to the country’s Intellectual Property Policy, which will curb uncompetitive practices such as patent evergreening, which has hampered consumers’ access to more affordable medication for far too long,” said Roos.

“The introduction of a substantive search and patent examination office will do away with unscrupulous companies that use loopholes to extend patents after the 20-year exclusivity period for their own financial gain. This move by government will see a flood of generic medicines enter the market, which will be manufactured and sold at a fraction of the price of original medicines, benefiting consumers and funders. Both generic and biosimilar medication will continue to play a pivotal role in curbing healthcare expenditure well into the future,” concluded Roos.

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