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Formed in mid-1999, the Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa (SMASA) represents and supports companies involved in the manufacture, sale, distribution and consultation of healthcare products (including over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines) that enable the public to manage their health and wellbeing.


We play an active role in the promotion and support of constantly evolving legislative, regulatory matters and policy issues on behalf of our members, and interact with government, regulators, statutory councils, other industry associations, healthcare professionals and the media.


We maintain close contact with the Medicines Control Council and advocate for a regulatory environment and system for effective over-the-counter and complementary medicines that enables a viable and answerable industry.


We are committed to highlighting the benefits of increased self-care and responsible self-medication and to equipping and empowering people with knowledge about self-care and how to self-treat commonly occurring conditions. To this end, we build partnerships with pharmacies, healthcare professionals, primary care nurses, patient and consumer bodies, and provide the public and media with information outlining the facts about OTC medicines and how to use them responsibly.


We are also working towards having self-care included in health strategy and policy at all levels and will continue to support and promote self-care in practice.


International Self-Care Day, an international initiative championed by SMASA, forms part of our drive to create awareness about the importance of self-care and encourages the public to make smarter choices where their overall health is concerned. The initiative takes place on the 24th of July, a date that reflects the campaign’s core message – that self-care should be experienced 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or 24/7.


SMASA is an active member of the Industry Task Group (ITG), which communicates with the Medicines Control Council and the National Department of Health on matters relevant to and affecting the industry. It also serves on the Pharmaceutical Task Group (PTG), an industry grouping comprising various associations that serve the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. SMASA is a member of the Marketing Code Authority (MCA) and serves on CTAC – the technical arm of the MCA. In addition, SMASA is a member of the World Self Medication Industry (WSMI) and is actively involved in various global initiatives.