International healthcare and pharmaceuticals group, MSD, has appointed Zwelethu Bashman as managing director of its operations in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
Bashman will succeed Dr. Priya Agrawal, now appointed as chief behavioural science officer in global vaccines in the international operations of the company.
Bashman joined MSD South Africa as director for HIV and vaccines in 2019. MSD’s successes during his tenure included the signing of voluntary licence agreements with other healthcare companies to allow the marketing of generic versions of its HIV medication, expanding access to treatment for people living with HIV/Aids in Africa.
Prior to joining MSD, Bashman held various roles within the pharmaceuticals sector. He started his career at Schering-Plough in 2006, where he worked in sales and product management. His commercial experience grew at Adcock Ingram, where he led the commercial division.
Between 2017 and 2019, Zwelethu expanded his responsibilities into the continent, leading the key account operations for Cipla Pharmaceuticals across sub-Saharan Africa, before leading marketing for English and Portuguese-speaking African countries at Merck Biopharma.
“I am thrilled to have been chosen to head up the MSD leadership team,” said Bashman.
“My predecessor, Priya, has overseen a period of unprecedented change in South Africa and in sub-Saharan Africa, and I look forward to building on her foundational work.”
Bashman will assume his new position from February 1, 2021.
MSD has conducted 1,250 clinical trials and invested more than $80m in research and development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Meanwhile, MSD’s Ebola vaccine has been given to more than 300,000 patients and the firm has administered more than 3.4bn doses of Mectizan to fight river blindness.
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