Ranbaxy arm bags Rs605 cr anti-HIV drug order in South Africa

Ranbaxy arm bags Rs605 cr anti-HIV drug order in South Africa

New Delhi: Drug-maker Ranbaxy Laboratories on Monday said its South Africa-based joint venture, Sonke Pharmaceuticals, has bagged a 913.5 million rand (about Rs605 crore) order from the government for supply of drugs for prevention and treatment of AIDS.

The 913.5 million rand order bagged by Sonke is a part of a 4.28 billion rand national anti-retroviral (ARV) tender floated by the South African government, Ranbaxy said in a statement.

Sonke Pharmaceuticals, a joint venture between Ranbaxy (Pty) Ltd and Community Investment Holdings (CIH), is the second-largest local supplier of generic ARV medication in South Africa. Gurgaon-based Ranbaxy holds a majority 70% stake in Sonke.

“We are humbled to be given this responsibility to produce, supply and distribute affordable ARVs in South Africa," Ranbaxy Laboratories managing director Arun Sawhney said.

“As a socially responsible global pharmaceutical company, we are committed to the cause of alleviating the suffering due to HIV AIDS and to bring high quality medication to those who need it the most," Sawhney added.

The medicines will be manufactured in South Africa and at Ranbaxy’s facilities in India, the company said.

The ARV tender was floated after the South African government approved a plan to scale up the national HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programme, it said.

“We are proud to be a part of the healthcare solution in South Africa by bringing affordable ARVs and making them easily available to all people who are affected by HIV/AIDS," Sonke Pharmaceuticals chairperson Anna Mokgokong said.

Sonke Pharmaceuticals has launched 16 products till date, eight of which are manufactured locally in South Africa. With this tender, the company will now be able to introduce another nine ARVs in the market to serve the needs of a wider cross-section of patients.

Ranbaxy shares were being quoted at Rs541 in late afternoon trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, down 1.24% from the previous close.