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President Kagame examining drugs at Quality Chemicals in Kampala

By Conan Businge

President Paul Kagame has pledged that his Rwandan Governemnt will soon start buying some of its antiretroviral and anti-malarial drugs from Quality Chemicals in Uganda.

President Kagame made the pledge on his visit to Quality Chemicals factory in Kampala city’s suburb, Luzira, yesterday morning.

Quality Chemical’s chief executive officer, Emmanuel Katongole, in his brief to the press after the inspection of the factory on Friday, said President Kagame’s pledge will start with purchases for the public sector.

“We will also be selling to the private sector, on top of the public sector,” Katongole added. Katongole promised President Kagame drugs which meet the international standards.

“We shall offer you first-world quality of drugs, at third-world prices. Our prices are not the lowest, but are comparable to those recommended by World Health Organisation.” Quality Chemicals has already registered its products in Rwanda, and have a pre-qualification by WHO.

President Kagame also promised to work with Uganda, to locally process anti-malarial drugs’ raw materials- ‘Artemisia annua.’ Artemisia annua is the source of artemisinin, an antimalarial compound recommended by the World Health Organisation. Widely cultivated in China and Asia, Artemisia is a new crop for Africa and is largely limited to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Today, the harvested plants in Uganda are exported for processing in India, after which Quality Chemicals, like other pharmaceutical companies, buys it as a raw material to produce antimalarial drugs.

“With Rwanda opening up its market for our products, it will greatly resonate Quality Chemicals in the rest of Africa and spur more investments in the rest of Africa,” Katongole said.

Katongole added that Quality Chemicals is also considering investing in Rwanda.

Quality Chemical Industries is a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing plant located in Kampala, Uganda.

It exists as an additional contract manufacturing site for CIPLA Ltd, which manufactures and sells combination therapy antiretroviral and antimalarial drugs that have proven to be most effective in combating HIV/AIDS and Malaria.

Source: New Vision