KAMPALA – Barely a month after being cleared by the National Drug Authority – NDA, Covidex developer, Prof Patrick Ogwang has earned an investment licence from the Uganda Investment Authority – UIA.
Handing over the licence to Ogwang on Wednesday, the state minister for investment Evelyn Anite revealed that the government has also provided him with five acres of land in Soroti Industrial Park where the plant is to be housed.
Anite revealed that the government also granted him a 10-year tax holiday to enable him to grow his business in the initial stages.
Prof Ogwang said that he has mobilized some resources and will start construction of the plant which currently employs about 200 people.
He said that he has invested a lot in research for herbal medicine in the past 17 years, noting that with the factory, he can achieve more.
“In the last 17 years, I have put a lot of investment in using my brain. All the salaries I got were invested in research as it would benefit a lot. I have developed almost 15 formulas in last 17 years,” Prof. Ogwang said.
He said whereas people know only Covidex but there are many formulae that he has developed over the years that he noted will slowly come to be known.
“When I went to China sometime back, I found 95% of medicines in their pharmacies are herbal. That is what we want to see here. We want to reverse it that when you walk into a pharmacy, you find Ugandan herbal medicine.”
According to him, research indicates that Uganda imports medicines worth shs4 trillion but noted this can be changed as the country starts producing its own herbal medicines.
Covidex herbal medicine was in June this year cleared for use by the public as a supportive treatment in the management of viral infections.
NDA granted the drug an approval based on initial assessment, published literature and safety studies by the innovator.
With vaccines in short supply and Covid-19 infections soaring daily, and hundreds being hospitalised or killed by the virus, the public is frantically searching for remedies to boost immunity or fend off the mass killer disease.
Following this, Covidex herbal medicine was cleared as a supportive treatment in management of viral infections and not as a cure of Covid.