Who Owns Whom

The Pharmaceutical Industry in South Africa 2022

Carole Veitch | South Africa | 08 March 2022


R 13 500.00(ZAR) estimated $ 859.21 (USD)*

Enquire about this report

Report Coverage

This report focuses on the pharmaceutical industry in South Africa including manufacture, retail and wholesale trade in pharmaceuticals and alternative health products, such as medicinal cannabis. The report includes information on the state and size of the industry, notable players in each subsector, developments, corporate actions, regulations and other influencing factors. There are profiles of 129 companies including international companies Cipla, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, local companies including Aspen and Adcock Ingram, retailers Clicks and Dis-Chem, and cannabis companies such as Goodleaf.

The Pharmaceutical Industry in South Africa

The importance of the pharmaceutical industry has been amplified by the global health crisis. South Africa has the world’s largest antiretroviral programme and is one of the major producers of radiopharmaceuticals. With the ongoing development of local manufacturing capacity and capabilities, local pharmaceutical companies are set to play a pivotal role in the production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines and other medicines for the domestic market and the rest of Africa. Although South Africa is the largest manufacturer and supplier of pharmaceuticals in sub-Saharan Africa, it is highly reliant on imported products, which account for more than two-thirds of pharmaceutical sales.


The pandemic continues to cause business interruptions and supply chain challenges. Commercial flight disruptions have caused procurement delays and stock shortages. Other key challenges include frequent power outages and downward pressure on the rand, which has driven up the price of imported ingredients and finished products. The single exit price increase was well below inflation and the prior year increase.

Medical Cannabis

Formal and informal sales revenue of all cannabis products was estimated at around R14bn in 2021 and the Department of Trade Industry and Competition said sales could double by 2024. Government’s cannabis masterplan aims to expand the cannabis industry, attract foreign investment and create tens of thousands of jobs. Many companies hope to be part of this growth, and there are around 30 licensed commercial cannabis producers in South Africa.

Table of Contents

2.1. Industry Value Chain 10
2.2. Geographic Position 11
2.4. Key Success Factors and Pain Points 18
3. LOCAL 19
3.1. Key Trends 22
3.2. Notable Players 24
3.3. Trade 27
3.4. Corporate Actions 32
3.5. Regulations 34
3.6. Enterprise Development and Social Economic Development 40
4. AFRICA 42
6.1. COVID -19 56
6.2. Economic Environment 61
6.3. Labour 62
6.4. Environmental Issues 66
6.5. Technology, Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation 67
6.6. Government Support 69
6.7. Drug Abuse and Other Health Concerns 71
7.1. Competition 73
7.2. Ownership Structure of the Industry 74
7.3. Barriers to Entry 75
11.1. Publications 79
11.2. Websites 80
Appendix 1 - Summary of Notable Players 82
Abbott Laboratories South Africa (Pty) Ltd 95
Acino Healthcare Group (Pty) Ltd 97
Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd 100
African Medicines (Pty) Ltd 105
Afrigen Biologics (Pty) Ltd 107
Afriplex (Pty) Ltd 109
AIM Africa 112
Alpha Pharm (Pty) Ltd 114
Amka Products (Pty) Ltd 117
Amway South Africa (Pty) Ltd 120
Arrie Nel Pharmacy Group (Pty) Ltd 122
Ascendis Health Ltd 124
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd 130
Astellas Pharma (Pty) Ltd 136
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 138
Aurobindo Pharma (Pty) Ltd 140
Austell Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 142
B Braun Medical (Pty) Ltd 144
Barrs Pharmaceuticals Industries (Pty) Ltd 147
Baxter Healthcare South Africa (Pty) Ltd 149
Bayer (Pty) Ltd 151
Becton Dickinson (Pty) Ltd 154
Bio Earth Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd 156
Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd (The) 158
Bitek Industries (Pty) Ltd 160
California Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 162
Caprichem (Pty) Ltd 164
Chemical Convertors (Pty) Ltd 167
Chemtron Holdings (Pty) Ltd 168
Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical (Pty) Ltd 170
Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) Ltd 172
Columbia Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 176
CoMED Health (Pty) Ltd 178
Deon Schoeman CC 180
Dis-Chem Pharmacies Ltd 182
Dr Reddy's Laboratories (Pty) Ltd 193
DSV Healthcare (Pty) Ltd 195
Dynachem (Pty) Ltd 197
Ecolab (Pty) Ltd 199
Eli Lilly (S A) (Pty) Ltd 201
Evohealth (Pty) Ltd 203
Felbridge (Pty) Ltd 205
Ferring (Pty) Ltd 207
Forever Living Products South Africa (Pty) Ltd 209
Fresenius Kabi Manufacturing SA (Pty) Ltd 212
Fresenius Kabi South Africa (Pty) Ltd 214
G M Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 217
GlaxoSmithKline South Africa (Pty) Ltd 219
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals South Africa (Pty) Ltd 222
Goodleaf Company (Pty) Ltd (The) 224
Gulf Drug Company (Pty) Ltd 226
H H Durrheim (Pty) Ltd 228
Herba Zone (Pty) Ltd 230
Herbalife International South Africa Ltd 232
Hersol Manufacturing Laboratories (Pty) Ltd 234
Hymed (Pty) Ltd 236
IMBC Investment (Pty) Ltd 238
iMvula Healthcare Logistics (Pty) Ltd 240
Infection Protection Products (Pty) Ltd 243
Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 245
Iszipharm Pharmaceutical Distributors (Pty) Ltd 247
Joe Soap CC 249
Johnson and Johnson (Pty) Ltd 251
Kellogg Company of South Africa (Pty) Ltd 253
Kevali Chemical Group (Pty) Ltd 255
Lakato (Pty) Ltd 257
Leaf Botanicals (Pty) Ltd 259
MedCan (Pty) Ltd 260
Medichem (Pty) Ltd 261
Mega Magic CC 263
Merck (Pty) Ltd 265
MSD (Pty) Ltd 267
National Bioproducts Institute NPC 269
Nativa (Pty) Ltd 271
NeoLife International (Pty) Ltd 273
Nestle (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd 275
Netcare Pharmacies (Pty) Ltd 279
Netcare Pharmacies 2 (Pty) Ltd 281
New Clicks South Africa (Pty) Ltd 283
Nkunzi Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 286
Novartis South Africa (Pty) Ltd 288
Nutritional Holdings Ltd 291
Omnia Holdings Ltd 295
Organon South Africa (Pty) Ltd 300
P and G South African Trading (Pty) Ltd 302
Parceval (Pty) Ltd 304
Pfizer Laboratories (Pty) Ltd 306
Pharma Dynamics (Pty) Ltd 309
Pharmaceutical Enterprises (Pty) Ltd 311
Pharmacy Direct (Pty) Ltd 313
Pharmacyweb Holdings (Pty) Ltd 315
PharmaForce (Pty) Ltd 316
Pharmed Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 318
Pick n Pay Stores Ltd 321
Platchem (Pty) Ltd 326
Prime Cleaning Suppliers (Pty) Ltd 328
Ranbaxy (S A) (Pty) Ltd 330
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 332
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 334
Releaf Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 336
Richbay Chemicals (Pty) Ltd 338
Roche Products (Pty) Ltd 341
S A F I C (Pty) Ltd 344
S A Natural Products (Pty) Ltd 346
S Buys (Pty) Ltd 348
Safarmex (Pty) Ltd 351
Safety Chemicals (Pty) Ltd 353
Sandoz South Africa (Pty) Ltd 355
Sanofi Industries South Africa (Pty) Ltd 357
Sanofi-Aventis South Africa (Pty) Ltd 359
Shoprite Holdings Ltd 362
Solgar South Africa (Pty) Ltd 368
Sonke Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 370
South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Ltd (The) 372
SPAR Group Ltd (The) 376
Specialised Maintenance Products (Pty) Ltd 382
Specpharm Holdings (Pty) Ltd 383
Spectank (Pty) Ltd 385
Tevo (Pty) Ltd 387
Tiger Brands Ltd 389
Topmed Health Care Distributors (Pty) Ltd 394
Touchless Germ Control Western Cape CC 396
Transpharm (Pty) Ltd 397
Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd 399
Vital Health Foods (Pty) Ltd 403
Waco Africa (Pty) Ltd 405
Wellness Warehouse (Pty) Ltd 409
Woolworths Holdings Ltd 413
Xixia Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 417