New Vision (Kampala) - February 8, 2012
Quality Chemicals, a Ugandan based pharmaceutical company, will
next month start producing a new anti-retroviral(ARV) drug,
A monthly dose of the drug will cost $20 (about sh44,000)
compared to $600 (about sh1.4m) for the same drug in Europe.
One pill a day is recommended as opposed to two pills used in the
first line treatment, according to Samuel Opio, Quality
Chemical's pharmacist. Tenofovir belongs to a class of drugs that
help slow the spread of HIV.
While most advanced countries have switched to Tenofovir as first
line treatment for HIV, many poor countries have not embraced it
because it is very expensive.
Government health units are expected to start receiving Tenofovir
next year, in a move that will partly improve compliance to ARVs.
Quality Chemicals also produces anti-malarial drugs. According to
National Medical Stores general manager, Moses Kamabare, the
local procurement of antimalarials and ARVs locally has
significantly reduced on cases of stock-outs.
He explained that most of the drugs are imported from India and
China, which require not less than two months to arrive in the
Kamabare said over the last six months, about 50,000 more people
have been started on ARVs due to the consistency in drug supply
by Quality Chemicals.
The cost of buying ARVs from the plant has also slightly reduced
from $2.4 per dose when it started production to $1.9.
Besides improvements in procurement and supply, the availability
of a local supplier has reduced the burden on storage at NMS.