To become a center of excellence in the manufacturing of quality, affordable and newer medicines
To sustainably avail affordable and efficacious medicines in order to improve the quantity and quality of life
The Government of Uganda reached out to Cipla Ltd, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, urging them to partner with a local firm, Quality Chemicals Ltd (QCL), to enable the country to locally manufacture antiretroviral drugs to combat HIV/AIDS and anti-malarial drugs.
This was premised on the fact that over 60% of HIV/AIDS and 80% of malaria cases are in Sub-Saharan Africa yet it only manufactures 1% of the required medicines. The dependence on foreign pharmaceutical imports comes with several challenges like high costs of drugs, stock-outs in health facilities, and risk of counterfeit drugs.
What is more worrying is that the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement bars many developed pharmaceutical manufacturing giants like India from supplying medications that are still under patent at an affordable price. This poses a great threat of access to lifesaving medications such as those for HIV/AIDS and highly endemic malaria for poor countries like Uganda.
However, the TRIPS agreement allows Least Developed Countries like Uganda to set up pharmaceutical facilities and manufacture medicines that are still under patent. QCL took advantage of the flexibilities and founded QCIL which has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an additional contract manufacturing site for Cipla Ltd.’s antiretroviral and antimalarial drugs.