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Four companies awarded R10bn ARV tender

The entities will provide the drug to the Health Department from 2015 to 2017.

FILE: Four pharmaceutical companies have been jointly awarded a R10 billion tender to provide the Health Department with antiretroviral (ARV) medication for the next three years. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Four pharmaceutical companies have been jointly awarded a R10 billion tender to provide antiretroviral (ARV) medication.

The entities will provide the Health Department with the drugs for the next three years.

Africa's biggest generic drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare, India's Cipla, United States-based Mylan and local company Sonke were the companies selected.

Aspen was awarded R2.5 billion, Cipla R2 billion, Mylan R2.8 billion and Sonke R3 billion.

The ministry plans to get almost 5 million people on ARV medication by 2016.

Over 2 million people are receiving the life-saving treatment at the moment.

Department spokesperson Joe Maila said, "It's a contract that runs from 2015 to 2017."

South Africa has more than 6 million people, or 18 percent of the population, infected with HIV - the heaviest caseloads in the world. It also has one of largest treatment programmes.