The CEO of South Africa’s second-largest generic drug manufacturer, Adcock Ingram‘s Andy Hall, has sought to allay fears that the government’s drive for universal health coverage poses a risk to the pharmaceutical sector, saying the reforms proposed under the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill could boost drug sales. According to a Business Live report, this view is in contrast to the negative investor sentiment that greeted the release of the bill.
“We don’t believe it (the NHI) is as problematic as a lot of people are making it out to be,” said Hall, arguing that universal health coverage should expand the number of people able to obtain prescription medicines and hospital products, which would boost volumes for drug companies. “We accept that will come with some downward pressure on prices, but downward pressure on prices in the generic business happens around the globe, so that’s not a new thing for pharmaceutical companies,” he said.
The report says that, according to Hall, Adcock Ingram already operates in a market constrained by restrictions on medicine sales, ranging from government caps on annual price increases to the formularies (lists of approved products) used by large medical schemes, and did not anticipate struggling to adapt to NHI.Business Live report