The Generic and Biosimilar Medicines body of Southern Africa (GBMSA) has appointed industry veteran, Erik Roos, CEO of Pharma Dynamics as its chairperson, as of June this year. Roos succeeds Lorraine Keyser, CEO of Dr Reddy’s who has served as chair since 2018.

Commenting on his appointment, Roos says Keyser has been an outstanding chair of the GBMSA.

“During her tenure she helped to embed a new governance model for the organisation, which has led to greater member participation and engagement. I believe the GBMSA (formerly known as the National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers) has never been stronger and more influential than it is today, and I look forward to further advancing the GBMSA’s work along with the rest of the management team.”

Roos has also welcomed the contribution of Muhammad Bodhania, CEO of Oethmaan Biosims who will be joining the leadership team as Vice Chairman.

Over the last four decades, the GBMSA 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.

The appointment of Roos brings a wealth of knowledge and industry experience, which will greatly benefit the organisation in achieving its aim of creating an environment in which the sector can thrive and enhance the access of safe, effective and affordable medicines for all South Africans.

Over the next two years Roos will continue to work closely with regulatory bodies such as the Department of Health (DoH) and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to streamline processes with regards to bringing new molecules to market.

“COVID-19 has had an undeniable impact on the pharmaceutical sector globally, which will put additional stress on already stressed healthcare systems. The use of generics and biosimilars are among the resources that governments can use to generate savings. Prior to the pandemic, the use of more affordable medicines was already key to keeping spending within tolerable levels, but now the need is even more apparent.

“As the sector navigates through the challenges brought about by COVID-19 it’s crucial for pharmaceutical companies to respond to the rapid challenges that arise from the disruption in supply chains and the need to change business processes. While the full impact of the global pandemic is still unknown, there are lessons to be learned. The GBMSA will look beyond at how pharma companies can use the crisis as a catalyst for positive change and improvement,” concludes Roos.

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