Kampala, Uganda | URN | Quality Chemicals Limited, Cipla in Luzira has received approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to start supplying Antiretroviral (ARV) HIV drugs to South Africa.
According to Nevin Bradford, CIPLA’s chief executive secretary officer, the company recently dispatched 300,000 packs of ARVs, a combination of tenofovir, emtricitabine efavirenz to South Africa, as part of it’s “Africa for Africa” ambition.
In a press statement, Bradford says this consignment marks the beginning of supply that’s expected to spread over the next 12 months and will give South Africans access to quality medicines made in Uganda
“For the first time, a manufacturer from East Africa has received approval to supply ARVs to South Africa,” said Bradford.
He adds that the good manufacturing practice approval from the South African regulatory authority not only bestows a vote of confidence in the company but also in Uganda’s pharmaceutical industry as a whole.
According to Bradford, guaranteeing the volumes for the next 12 months foreshadows a manufacturing expansion for Cipla into one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in Africa.
Cipla is also in the final phases of gearing up to manufacture the antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine. This drug is included in the World Health Organization’s solidarity trial, to find a treatment for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
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According to the 2019 UNAIDS statistics, South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic globally, with 7.7 million people living with HIV and has the world’s largest antiretroviral programme.
Cipla also exports ARVs and other drugs to Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia and Botswana.