Industrial pharmacy is the discipline that deals with research to discover, develop, produce, and market drugs or pharmaceutical drugs for use as medications to be administered (or self-administered) to patients, with the aim to cure them, vaccinate them, or alleviate the symptoms. Pharmaceutical companies may also deal in generic or brand medications and medical devices. They are subject to a variety of laws and regulations that govern the patenting, testing, safety, efficacy and marketing of drugs, including quality assurance of these activities (McGuire, Hasskarl, Klingmann, & Zahn, Manuel (2007) Bozenhardt, & Bozenhardt 2018).
Pharmacy practice is the discipline of pharmacy which involves developing the professional roles of pharmacists. Disease-state management, clinical interventions refusal to dispense a drug, recommendation to change and/or add a drug to a patient’s pharmacotherapy, dosage adjustments, professional development, pharmaceutical care, extemporaneous pharmaceutical compounding, patient care, drug abuse prevention, prevention of drug interactions, including drug-drug interactions or drug-food interactions, prevention (or minimisation) of adverse events, incompatibility, drug discovery and evaluation, and Community Pharmacy (https://middleeast.pharmaceuticalconferences.com/events-list/industrial-pharmacy-and pharmacy-practice) [Accessed 22 February 2021].
The innovative pharmaceutical association of South Africa (IPASA)
(IPASA) was established in April 2013. IPASA was formed for the purpose of a credible, respected association to engage with stakeholders in both the private and public sectors. IPASA comprises of numerous research-based pharmaceutical companies and aims to be an association that focuses on building an environment for sustainable access to innovative research-based healthcare (https://ipasa.co.za).
It seems to be clear that investment in biomedical innovation today represents one of the highest value areas of investment economies can secure. Development of, and access to, new medicines and health technologies is essential for meeting increasingly greater demand created by growing and ageing populations and medical challenges across the globe. What is more, biomedical investment generates all of the economic and welfare benefits of a knowledge-based field, from high-tech capacity building to home-grown innovative activities that lend to globally competitive domestic industries. In terms of investment, the life sciences sectors are among the highest and diverse spenders worldwide, investing in areas ranging from scientific research to manufacturing all the way to medicines access schemes and treatment guidelines.
How technology is revolutionising the pharmacy industry
The technological advances that have been made in the medical industry in the last 10 years is absolutely amazing. Such revolutionary innovations have positively impacted the pharmaceutical industry and pharmaceutical products as well. Here are some ways in which technology has impacted the pharma industry:
3D printed organs
3D printing has become more commonplace and accessible. Scientists and medical professionals are currently working on how to use bio printers to print organs. The machines are able to print tissue in order to make organs. This may sound far-reaching, but there are some who suggest that 3D-printed organs will begin to be used for transplants and other purposes, such as research, within five years from now. If this happens, the new technology has the potential to eliminate the shortage of organs available for those in need of transplants, it remains to be seen just how soon the printed organs will be widely available for those in need.
Similar to 3D printing, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more widely employed by many industries, including the pharmaceutical industry. AI does not imply robots becoming smarter than humans and things going awry from there. In this case AI refers to using computers and machine intelligence to take care of simple tasks in order to save time for the tasks that require human energy and brain power. Scientists working in the research and development aspects of the pharma industry are also looking to use AI to discover new ways in which elements and compounds can be effective in engineering new ground-breaking drugs.
Obalon balloon system
The Obalon Balloon System and other intragastric balloons are devices designed to help patients lose weight. The saline-filled balloons are either implanted (usually by an endoscope) or swallowed. The product works by taking up room in a patient’s stomach so they will eat less food and therefore lose weight. The balloons work best in conjunction with regular exercise.
Biochemical product development
Biochemical product development, in layman’s terms, is how a pharmaceutical drug is created. Those who specialise in pharmaceutical biochemistry are the ones who create new pharmaceuticals that help people who are dealing with a health issue.
Pharmacists and technology
Pharmacists will be on the front lines of dispersing these new kinds of medicines, as they are the ones with whom consumers typically interact when they pick up prescriptions. They’ll have to stay up-to-date with new innovations in order to best answer any questions patients have at the time of pickup. Both Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will have to adapt to any changes in the near future; will have to adjust as well. The duties of pharmacy technicians include organising the pharmacy’s inventory, packing and labelling the drugs, customer service tasks, such as answering phones and checking people out, and more.
Changes and growth in the Gauteng pharmaceutical industry
According to the Global African Network, South Africa has one of the world’s biggest HIV/Aids programmes. The National Department of Health’s Centralised Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution programme aims to reach six-million patients on treatment by 2021. It is currently serving 4.4 million patients.
During 2018 Pharmacy Direct, an Afrocentric business based in Centurion, spent R100 million on upgrading a warehouse for distributing medicines to state patients. This sector is likely to expand if the state continues with plans for National Health Insurance (NHI). The intention with the NHI is to create a single fund that will buy services on behalf of all South Africans.
The National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NAPM) has re-launched as Generic and Biosimilar Medicines of Southern Africa.
A new arena opened up in the pharmaceutical industry when the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) permitted to proceed with the production of a biosimilar drug in July 2018, the first time this has been allowed in South Africa. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries became the first company to win a licence with their version of Amgen’s filgrastim (Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) analogs and can be used in vivo to regulate the hematopoietic and immune systems, and to treat any condition characterised by a reduced hematopoietic or immune function, including a variety of hematopoietic, neurological, and reproduction related conditions), a leucocyte booster (https://www.globalafricanetwork.com/compay-news/changes-and-growth-in-the-gauteng-pharmaceutical-industry/).