South Africa may ask pharma firms for fee to clear drug review backlog

Drugmakers in Africa’s largest pharmaceutical market may be asked to pay a "backlog fee" to help clear a pipeline of medicines waiting years for approval, according to a proposal being considered by South Africa’s new industry regulator. Delays for hundreds of medicines have kept the latest treatments off South African shelves and hampered the fight against cancer, heart and other diseases in a country which also has more people receiving anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) than anywhere else in the world.