South Africa Pharmaceutical Industry Report - Shift from Reactive Medicine to Preventative Healthcare Resulting in Demand for Immunity-building Vitamins, Tonics, Minerals and Supplements

PR Newswire
Monday, February 12, 2024 at 3:15pm UTC

South Africa Pharmaceutical Industry Report - Shift from Reactive Medicine to Preventative Healthcare Resulting in Demand for Immunity-building Vitamins, Tonics, Minerals and Supplements

PR Newswire

DUBLIN, Feb. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Pharmaceutical Industry in South Africa 2023" report has been added to's offering.


More than 80% of South African pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution revenue is from the private sector. State purchases of pharmaceuticals are declining, and manufacturers' margins are under pressure due to low regulated price increases for scheduled pharmaceuticals in a high inflation environment.

In the retail sector Clicks and Dis-Chem have wholesale volume advantages and an ever-increasing footprint. Consumer spending patterns have forced consolidation in the retail sector, the growth of private label sales, growth in convenience formats, and diversification into new services and products. There has been a flurry of investments in localising vaccine raw material and finished dose manufacturing, although the sustainability of these initiatives is far from secure.

Key Opportunities

  • Cannabis cultivation, processing and medical product manufacturing
  • Rapid growth in generic sales making medicine more affordable
  • Strong R&D and advanced manufacturing capabilities may attract investment


  • Growing concentration of wholesale and retail pharmacy supply.
  • Low regulated medicine price increases in the context of high international inflation.
  • Poor economic growth constraining consumer spending on healthcare.
  • Reduced government budgets for medicines restricting local opportunities in the face of cheaper international competition.
  • South Africa's dependence on imported active ingredients. Sustaining local vaccine manufacturing in the face of declining demand.


  • A shift from reactive medicine to preventative healthcare resulting in demand for immunity-building vitamins, tonics, minerals and supplements.
  • Focus on research and development, particularly drugs and therapies targeting COVID-19, HIV/Aids, TB, malaria, cancer, and chronic diseases.
  • Growing pressure on pharmaceutical companies to improve access to healthcare by making medicines more affordable.
  • Increased focus on localisation, including local sourcing of inputs and the development of local manufacturing capacity.
  • Recovery of demand as elective surgery and procedures and illnesses such as flu return to pre-pandemic patterns.
  • Small community pharmacies are finding it difficult to compete with large retail businesses.


The pharmaceutical industry is well developed and supported by strong R&D and advanced manufacturing capabilities, including biotechnology manufacturing facilities. The Department of Health's affordable medicines programme has been instrumental in lowering scheduled pharmaceutical prices, particularly in the public sector. Investments in vaccine manufacture have begun to address South Africa's exposure to vulnerabilities and dependence on active pharmaceutical ingredient and vaccine imports. These investments have strengthened South Africa's position as the hub for sub-Saharan African pharmaceutical research, development, and supply.

However, vaccine demand has dropped and doses are being donated to African countries. Margin pressure is expected to grow as the economy remains poor and restraints on consumer spending intensify. The implementation of the National Health Insurance is likely to put further pressure on manufacturers and wholesalers to reduce medicine prices.

Report Coverage

This report on the pharmaceutical industry in South Africa provides comprehensive information on the manufacturing, wholesale and retail subsectors, price regulation, medical cannabis, market shares, notable multinational and local players and corporate actions.

There are profiles of 128 companies including local dominant players Aspen Pharmacare and Adcock Ingram, multinationals such as Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer and retailers Clicks and Dis-Chem and other players such as Nativa.


  • Abbott Laboratories South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Acino Healthcare Group (Pty) Ltd
  • Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd
  • African Medicines (Pty) Ltd
  • Afrigen Biologics (Pty) Ltd
  • Afriplex (Pty) Ltd
  • AIM Africa
  • Alpha Pharm (Pty) Ltd
  • Amka Products (Pty) Ltd
  • Amway South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Arrie Nel Pharmacy Group (Pty) Ltd
  • Ascendis Health Ltd
  • Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd
  • Astellas Pharma (Pty) Ltd
  • AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Aurobindo Pharma (Pty) Ltd
  • Austell Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • B Braun Medical (Pty) Ltd
  • Barrs Pharmaceuticals Industries (Pty) Ltd
  • Baxter Healthcare South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Bayer (Pty) Ltd
  • Becton Dickinson (Pty) Ltd
  • Bio Earth Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd
  • Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd (The)
  • Bitek Industries (Pty) Ltd
  • California Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Caprichem (Pty) Ltd
  • Chemical Convertors (Pty) Ltd
  • Chemtron Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical (Pty) Ltd
  • Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Columbia Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • CoMED Health (Pty) Ltd
  • Deon Schoeman CC
  • Dis-Chem Pharmacies Ltd
  • Dr Reddy's Laboratories (Pty) Ltd
  • DSV Solutions (Pty) Ltd
  • Dynachem (Pty) Ltd
  • Ecolab (Pty) Ltd
  • Eli Lilly (S A) (Pty) Ltd
  • Evohealth (Pty) Ltd
  • Felbridge (Pty) Ltd
  • Ferring (Pty) Ltd
  • Forever Living Products South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Fresenius Kabi Manufacturing SA (Pty) Ltd
  • Fresenius Kabi South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • G M Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • GlaxoSmithKline South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Goodleaf Company (Pty) Ltd (The)
  • Gulf Drug Company (Pty) Ltd
  • H H Durrheim (Pty) Ltd
  • Herba Zone (Pty) Ltd
  • Herbalife International South Africa Ltd
  • Hersol Manufacturing Laboratories (Pty) Ltd
  • Hymed (Pty) Ltd
  • IMBC Investment (Pty) Ltd
  • iMvula Healthcare Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • Infection Protection Products (Pty) Ltd
  • Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Iszipharm Pharmaceutical Distributors (Pty) Ltd
  • Joe Soap CC
  • Johnson and Johnson (Pty) Ltd
  • Kellogg Company of South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Kevali Chemical Group (Pty) Ltd
  • Lakato (Pty) Ltd
  • Leaf Botanicals (Pty) Ltd
  • MedCan (Pty) Ltd
  • Medichem (Pty) Ltd
  • Mega Magic CC
  • Merck (Pty) Ltd
  • MSD (Pty) Ltd
  • National Bioproducts Institute NPC
  • Nativa (Pty) Ltd
  • NeoLife International (Pty) Ltd
  • Nestle (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd
  • Netcare Pharmacies (Pty) Ltd
  • Netcare Pharmacies 2 (Pty) Ltd
  • New Clicks South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Nkunzi Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Novartis South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Omnia Holdings Ltd
  • Organon South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • P and G South African Trading (Pty) Ltd
  • Parceval (Pty) Ltd
  • Pfizer Laboratories (Pty) Ltd
  • Pharma Dynamics (Pty) Ltd
  • Pharmaceutical Enterprises (Pty) Ltd
  • Pharmacy Direct (Pty) Ltd
  • Pharmacyweb Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • PharmaForce (Pty) Ltd
  • Pharmed Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Pick n Pay Stores Ltd
  • Platchem (Pty) Ltd
  • Prime Cleaning Suppliers (Pty) Ltd
  • Ranbaxy (S A) (Pty) Ltd
  • Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Releaf Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • Richbay Chemicals (Pty) Ltd
  • Roche Products (Pty) Ltd
  • S A F I C (Pty) Ltd
  • S A Natural Products (Pty) Ltd
  • S Buys (Pty) Ltd
  • Safarmex (Pty) Ltd
  • Safety Chemicals (Pty) Ltd
  • Sandoz South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Sanofi Industries South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Sanofi-Aventis South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Shoprite Holdings Ltd
  • Solgar South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Sonke Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd
  • South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Ltd (The)
  • SPAR Group Ltd (The)
  • Specialised Maintenance Products (Pty) Ltd
  • Specpharm Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Spectank (Pty) Ltd
  • Tevo (Pty) Ltd
  • Tiger Brands Ltd
  • Topmed Health Care Distributors (Pty) Ltd
  • Touchless Germ Control Western Cape CC
  • Transpharm (Pty) Ltd
  • Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Viatris South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Vital Health Foods (Pty) Ltd
  • Waco Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Wellness Warehouse (Pty) Ltd
  • Woolworths Holdings Ltd

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