Mozambican Officials Call on Southern African Development Community To Create Regional Pharmaceutical Company for Antiretroviral Production
A five-member delegation from the Mozambican parliament at a meeting on Tuesday with Zimbabwe's secretary for health and child welfare called on Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community to create a regional pharmaceutical company to produce antiretroviral drugs, the Herald/AllAfrica.com reports.
According to delegation member Ishmael Mussa, a regional pharmaceutical company would alleviate some of the current challenges associated with the production and procurement of antiretrovirals in Southern African countries, including Zimbabwe. "Coming up with a regional pharmaceutical company would help us overcome these problems," Mussa said, adding that such a program would require the political commitment of all countries involved.
Isau Joaquim Menese, another delegate, said a regional company would be cost-effective. He added that Mozambique has conducted a study on the construction of a facility to produce antiretrovirals and other drugs. "We think joining hands as a regional bloc would certainly maximize benefits," Menese said.
Blessing Chebundo -- chair of Zimbabwe's Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Welfare -- urged the Zimbabwean government to pursue the proposal. He argued that a regional company would circumvent sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries. "We need a regional approach, and this would maximize resources," Chebundo said, adding, "This collective arrangement would lead to regional sustenance of access to generic drugs" (Herald/AllAfrica.com, 5/30).