South Africa’s pharmaceutical and medical device sectors are the largest and most advanced in sub-Saharan Africa. Pharmaceutical and medical device sales have more than doubled in the last 10 years to a value of US$3,32bn and US$1,32bn in 2019. South Africa is the primary business hub for the medical device industry in sub-Saharan Africa. A substantial portion of medical device and lab equipment exports are destined for the rest of Africa, with 12 African nations featuring in its top 20 export destinations last year.
South Africa is the only country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that meets the World Health Organisation’s Good Manufacturing Practice standards. This positions South Africa as a gateway to the Southern African market for manufacturers of pharmaceutical products.