Local firm loses government AIDS drug tender

South African generic drug manufacturer Thembalami Pharmaceuticals is out of the running in the government's anti-AIDS drug tender.

Thembalami, a joint venture between the leading local drug firm, Adcock Ingram, and India's Ranbaxy, was until recently one of three generic drug producers on a short list of nine that included drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Ranbaxy's withdrawal of four antiretroviral drugs from the South African market last week meant Thembalami automatically fell out of the tendering process.

The planned rollout of antiretroviral drugs in South Africa is the biggest in the world, making its drug tender a lucrative prize for the chosen drug manufacturer.