Prof John B Kaneene from the Michigan State University who has concluded his assessment on the new Dei Pharmaceuticals plant in Matugga, Wakiso District has said that the practice of making drugs within the country will solve the problem of fake drugs within the country.
Prof Kaneene made the remarks while inspecting a multi-billion facility which will begin making drugs in the country under the leadership of Dr Mathias Magoola with its first phase of construction already finished.
“This plant meets the world standards, at least the first bits that I have seen. This will solve the problem of fake drugs on the market and that is how lucky Uganda is because many traders have been shipping in drugs that are fake without knowing,” he said.
In March this year, a visiting team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) hailed the DEI Biopharma manufacturing facility saying the facility provides a base for Africa to effectively respond to Covid-19 and other viruses using traditional medicine therapies.
The team, included WHO’s Regional Expert Advisory Committee on Traditional Medicine for COVID-19 Response (REACT) were introduced to the fast-completing establishment of Africa’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and the only fully integrated company, providing all dosage forms to all types of drugs, chemical, biological, and vaccines.
A World Health Organisation report released last year indicated that drugs worth $200bn are produced into the market every year and more than 60% of these end up into the African market including Uganda which according to the report, get the biggest chunk.
“Many times you get drugs with inscriptions on the cover but no name, do you ever ask what drug it is? Fake drugs into the body cause disease resistance, prolonged agony and wastage of money that is why it has to be fought,” Prof Kaneene said.
He added, “Local production is one of the ways of solving this problem as well as putting up bodies that monitor the quality of drugs that are entering into the country so that the population consumes the right medicine.”
According to Dr Magoola, the proprietor of the Dei Biopharma plant, the facility has been made with a laboratory on international level able to determine the quality of drugs going to the market.
“The challenge is that secondary packaging companies do not have the capacity of quality control for the medicine and that has always been a challenge. This is the first Biopharma plant in Africa which will be able to measure the standard of medicine on the market,” he said.
Dr Magoola also said that the facility will contain more than 3000 formulations for making drugs which will be mainly vaccines for Covid19 and other diseases as well as the most modern cancer drugs among other disease remedies.
The plant, according to engineers, will be fully completed before the end of the year for the first phase of drugs to be produced ready for consumption.