By Lusekelo Philemon
Succour may finally be coming the way of HIV infected Tanzanians following the establishment of a new pharmaceutical plant to produce life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) in Arusha, Tanzania.
Tanzaniahas a population of 35 million with an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 7.8 percent among adults in 2001.
Ramadhan Madabida, Chief Executive Officer of the Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (TPI) said that the plant was installed at the cost of 6 million euros, with the European Unon (EU) contributing 5 million euros.
TPI proprietors contributed one million euros and the plant is set employ more than 140 people when it becomes operational.
Madabida said the plant would be officially inaugurated on December 1, 2011 during the World AIDS Day celebration but mass production of the drugs would commence in September.
The plant has been established under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, which allows Least Developed Countries (LDCs) likeTanzaniato produce essential drugs without introducing pharmaceutical product patents until 2016.
Madabida said: “our target is to ensure thatTanzaniaand East African countries are self sufficient in the supply of the ARVs and other essential drugs in the region.”
Trial production of the drug started in 2003 and once official production starts, the generic drug will cost local people living with HIV/ AIDS about US $10 less for their monthly dosages.
Currently, imported ARVs costs over 30,000/-, whereas the generic ARVs will cost 20,000/-for a monthly dosage of two pills a day.
The drug has already been certified by the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority.
(The Guardian, Tanzania)
Posted by admin
on August 21, 2011. Filed under Health, Lead Stories, Tanzania.
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