Nigerian Pharmaceutical Plant To Produce Generic Antiretroviral Drugs
Nigeria on Tuesday held a ceremony to commission the country's first pharmaceutical plant to produce generic antiretroviral drugs, Reuters reports. Archy Pharmaceuticals commissioned the plant, which will be located outside Lagos, and in September plans to manufacture antiretrovirals from raw materials imported from China (Reuters, 7/27). The company is owned by a group of Nigerians living in the United States who responded to an appeal from Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo for investments from expatriates, according to BBC News (Odunfa, BBC News, 7/27). "Our ultimate goal is to provide Nigerians with quality antiretroviral drugs at affordable prices," Archy Chair Tony Ihenatu said, adding that the company plans to expand its operations by December to provide drugs to other nations in West Africa, according to Reuters. The local production of generic drugs will improve the country's national HIV/AIDS treatment program and provide treatment to the millions who do not currently receive drugs under the national drug program, Reuters reports (Reuters, 7/27). The national drug program, which was launched in 2002, aims to provide generic antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive people at a subsidized cost of $7 per person (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/19). Health Minister Eyitayo Lambo said that the plant's "safe and affordable" drugs will reduce the use of "fake and substandard" antiretrovirals -- a "major problem" in the country, according to BBC News (BBC News, 7/27). A Nigerian unit of the drug maker Ranbaxy began producing pediatric antiretrovirals in the country earlier this year (Reuters, 7/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.