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SAHPRA CEO comes Out Fighting: Policy Change Protestors Barking Up the Wrong Tree

South African Health Products Regulatory Authourity (SAHPRA) has hit back sharply at protesters attempts to disrupt the organization’s operations on 22 April 2021. In an interview on SAFM radio on 23 April 2021, CEO Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlelacame out fighting. 


Essentally,  she said “our reaction is clear”:

  • Many of BFASA assumptions were factually incorrect;
  • Some of their demands were “outright illegal”;
  • It was beyond SAHPRA’s scopes to meet protestors demands which were primarily about policy considerations;
  • SAHPRA had repeatedly communicated to BFASA that they should address their demands to the relevant stakeholders.

Dr Semete-Makokotlela said many of the demands related to the development of recreational cannabis market which was completely beyond SAHPRA’s involvement as it was primarily involved in the medical aspects of cannabis. SAHPRA, she said, was not a policy-making organization but that its mandate was purely to enforce the law in terms of:

  • Safety of medical cannabis products
  • Efficacy of medical cannabis products
  • Quality of production – in relation to facility compliance speculations

“It’s completely untrue that we are racist” she said. The criticism that SAHPRA was constrained by Apartheid legislation (the Medicines Control Act of 1965) did not take into account that it had been amended in 2017.

She said SAHPRA’s relationship with the cannabis industry is clearly set on its website

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