WAKISO — President Museveni has commended the proprietor of DEI Biopharma Vaccines Plant, Mr. Matthias Magoola, for embracing one of the core values of the NRM Government of developing Uganda through socio-economic transformation.
Commissioning the huge pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Kigogwa, Matugga on Friday afternoon, President Museveni said that from the very beginning, his administration told Ugandans that it wants to build a new economy that is able to stand on its feet [Not that one of importing] and that he was very happy with Mr. Magoola for taking in the advice that has led to the formation of a state of the art locally owned biological drugs and vaccines manufacturing plant.
“I thank the proprietor Mathias Magoola for insisting on this dream despite several attempts by the wrong people to fail him. Frustrating wealth creators is against our agenda as the NRM and as a country, it is against our message of industrialisation,” the President said.
“I also thank Equity Bank Group for supporting this project. I must say they have got good spectacles to see where the value is. My Equity Bank friends, I urge you not to worry, supporting investment in Uganda has massive benefits, it is good business. Asante Sana,” he added.
President Museveni said that If there’s consensus among Ugandans, the country can have a modern economy and then it shall be able to move very fast as far as development is concerned.
“The current location of this project is our former battlefield/Dwaniro. I am happy that this former battlefield is now an industrial park and an avenue for employment and wealth creation.These are big economies. You can see that we are totally entering a new phase of Uganda by broadening our economy. If we can have a consensus among all leaders, the political, economic and cultural leaders and all Ugandans we can move faster.”
The Dei Biopharma vaccines plant, an arm of Ugandan firm, Dei Group is 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, according to authorities.
DEI Biopharma, sitting on 150 acres of land in Kigogwa Matugga—is the only African company now distributing the Covid-19 treatment medicines and getting ready to supply one billion doses of an mRNA vaccine through collaboration with the World Health Organisation.
DEI Biopharma has resolved all intellectual property issues and supply chain constraints to be the first company to distribute all new medicines against the Covid-19 and antiviral and resistant TB infections.
The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, urged regional countries to support Uganda through buying Dei Biopharma’s pharmaceutical products.
“It’s my pleasure to inform the Congolese, Kenyans, Sudanese, Tanzanians Rwandans, Kenyans and others that quality drugs are now here. They should support us,” she said also lauding President Museveni for believing in local scientists.
The former Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi expressed gratitude to DEI Biopharma for setting up a pharmaceutical facility that will improve the healthcare of all Ugandans.
“I also congratulate you, Your Excellency, for the role you have played in promoting and supporting this project. You have fully supported it even in the difficult times when it seemed crippled,” Rt. Hon. Mbabazi said.
Mbabazi also a member of the International Advisory Board of a London based foundation— the Peace and Conservation Organization and a member of the board on combating substandard medical products said that in several African countries, falsified medicines account for between 30 and 60% of all the medical products.
“In the latest for ERP period, the World Health Organization received 1500 reports of substandard or falsified products, with the largest number of reports coming from the African continent since the onset of COVID-19,” he said, noting that this figure has increased opening new challenges in supply chains with falsified vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics in circulation.
Mbabazi said COVID-19 has amplified the urgent need for African countries to invest in effective and efficient regulation of medicines, medical products and technologies.
“The discussion and establishment of the African Medicines Agency will be an essential instrument to strengthen the fight against substandard and falsified medicines and medical products and enable all patients in Africa to have access to quality medicines that are safe and effective.”
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwiine promised to support Magoola until they achieve their goal.
“When they came to us at the Ministry and gave us a list of the medicine they wanted to manufacture, we thought this was a big dream. We want to assure you that we are going to stand with you until you achieve your dream,” Dr. Atwine assured.
Atwine said the landscape of disease patterns in Uganda country have changed.
“While we are looking at different epidemics coming into our country, we are also seeing quite a big rise in non-communicable diseases. And none of these medicines are manufactured in the country. Yet they are very expensive and they are hard to get. So we want to thank Dei Biopharma that on the medicines they really want to focus on as they start manufacturing, they looked at the cancer drugs. They have also looked at other supportive treatment, like monoclonal antibodies and other treatments that we get from abroad which are very expensive. We want to thank the biopharma for starting this facility because we know that we are going to see an increase in the human resources, especially industrial pharmacists that we didn’t have in the country,” she added.
Mr. Benedict Muhigo, the Ag. Managing Director of DEI Biopharma who represented Mr. Magoola said that the facility, a toast of Uganda’s science innovation, will produce all of the biologic medicines listed as essential drugs, including filgrastim, erythropoietin, and trastuzumab, among several others, the first such source of biosimilars in Africa.
Mihingo affirmed that the plant is up and ready to take Uganda’s pharmaceutical industry to the next level.
He lauded President Museveni for seeing ‘gold’ in Dei Biopharma and ensured that it became a success story.
“Some people whom Mzee had instructed to support this idea, they started fighting it because they thought it was a wastage of time. But Mzee being a Visionary leader, he sees opportunities where others don’t see. Behind all this success, it has been you,” Mr. Muhigo said as he read Mr. Magoola’s speech verbatim.
“We would like to thank you for your intervention through Uganda Development Bank which gave us USD 20million. Your Excellency, we still need your support to finish setting up the remaining buildings. Our projected revenue in 5 years is expected to be USD5 billion but our target is USD10 billion in 10 years,” he revealed.
The DEI Biopharma portfolio also includes nutraceuticals starting with the first US-patented alleviation of Parkinson’s disease that will go into distribution within 90 days” he said.
The DEI Biopharma portfolio also includes nutraceuticals starting with the first US-patented alleviation of Parkinson’s disease that will go into distribution within 90 days” the official said.
With the commissioning of its vaccines plant, DEI Biopharma is now the most prominent African company that will allow the region to take care of the needs specific to Africa using the most modern drugs and therapies, in addition to the essential traditional medicines, filling the most direly needed requirements of African health.