INDIAN pharmaceuticals group Aurobindo is taking South Africa’s Treasury to court, claiming it lost out to local pharmaceutical companies in a R400-million contract for antiretroviral (ARV) AIDS drugs, even though its tendered price for the drugs was cheaper.

The Indian giant, which is the biggest producer of ARVs in the world, claims in court documents that its tender was on average 30% cheaper than the locally manufactured products.

Almost 60% of the contract, which went out to tender last year for the supply of ARVs nationally for the two years from June last year to next May, was awarded to local companies Aspen and Adcock Ingram. The balance went to innovative companies.

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