Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutic drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics in which the active ingredient is produced in a living substance such as eggs or tobacco plants. The living substance acts as a ‘miniature factory’ in which the active ingredient is grown and replicated. Catherine Tomlinson takes a deep dive into the fascinating research and other initiatives in South Africa aimed at spurring local production of these products – and asks why a Cape Town-based company opted to set up a manufacturing plant in Mauritius rather than at home.
With abortion services now available through telemedicine and the increasing practice of self-managed abortion, Marion Stevens asks if abortion law still has any relevance given these practices.
Over the last decade the treatment of hepatitis C, a virus that can infect and damage the liver, has been revolutionised by a new class of medicines called direct acting antivirals. Catherine Tomlinson investigates the regulatory obstacles that are limiting access to these breakthrough medicines in South Africa.