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The South African Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians is a Professional Association with individuals as members, affiliated to the South African Medical Association (SAMA) as a Special Interest group. The interests and activities of SAAPP are centred around Clinical Research, Regulatory Affairs, Medical Science and the Pharmaceutical Physician. SAAPP is a member of the International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians (IFAPP).
Until 1961 the Union of South Africa, with regards to the rules of conduct of Medical Practitioners, adhered to British rules and regulations. Before 1957 a doctor could not be employed by the Pharmaceutical Industry because of a perceived conflict of interest under the professional ethical rules on avoidance/prohibition of vested interest. During 1957 it was recognised in Britain that doctors did have a role to play as full time employees "in the Pharmaceutical Industry"; the regulations were changed, and the first Medical Directors were employed in Britain. South Africa almost immediately followed suite.
During the sixties more and more doctors joined the Industry in part time or full time positions and locally they formed a special interest group, PIMAG (Pharmaceutical Industry Medical Advisory Group). During the seventies, South Africa was one of the twelve founder members of IFAPP, to whom we are still affiliated.
The concept of a "Pharmaceutical Physician" was born and even in those early days it became a dream to one day be recognised as a separate specialist group. Initially however we were only awarded the status of a "special interest group".
During 1992-1993 and after quite a lot of soul searching and a number of workshops, it was decided to effectively disband PIMAG and form SAAPP. SAAPP was originally affiliated to the Medical Association of South Africa (MASA) and it’s constitution developed in line with their recommendations.
Initially the South African Pharmaceutical Physician (SAPP) dealt almost exclusively with product information; later this changed to product information plus what can only be called public relations. After Act 101 of 1965, a new role was added, namely that of negotiator with Government to get medicines registered. This required specialist knowledge.
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