Local firm to make drug for corona

KAMPALA- The Health ministry has said raw materials to kick-start manufacturing of hydroxychloroquine, one of the drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients, are on their way into the country.
Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the minister of State for Primary Healthcare, said government was working closely with the local manufacturing company, Cipla Quality Chemicals Limited, to start the production.
“Some of our drugs against Covid-19 are going to be manufactured here. They [Cipla Quality Chemicals] are importing the reagents,” Ms Kaducu told Daily Monitor yesterday in a telephone interview.
Mr Nevin Bradford, the central executive officer of Cipla, yesterday also confirmed the raw materials are in transit.
He said the company had obtained approval from the ministry to import raw materials.
“The drug we are manufacturing is hydroxychloroquine sulphate that is indicated as treatment for Covid-19. We are importing the products we need from India to start manufacturing and they are reaching soon and manufacturing will start within three or four weeks,” he said.
Mr Bradford, however, said the cost of raw materials has risen due to global demand, adding that this would affect the price of treatment for Covid-19.
He said the drug is also used to treat arthritis and other conditions of immunity that are common in the country.
He said the company is facing a challenge of keeping their workers on site during the lockdown.
“However we have a guest house where our workers stay and other staff members are working from home,” Mr Bradford said.

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