Ugandan drug maker – Cipla Quality Chemicals – has been granted permission to export medicine to about 30 African countries.
This will be in addition to the already existing 11 countries in which Cipla has been exporting drugs in the last five years.
The new countries are mainly in West Africa (Ecowas) and southern Africa (Zazibona), which gives Cipla export access to at least 74 per cent of the African market.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Mr Nervin Bradford, the Cipla chief executive officer, said the company will be exporting antiretrovirals and malaria medicines such as efavirenz 600mg, lamivudine 300mg, tenofovir 300mg, and Artemether 20mg.
The drug maker will also export to the two regions lumefantrine 120mg, and tenofovir 300mg or lamivudine 300mg.
« For the first time, a manufacturer from East Africa has received approval to supply drugs to Ecowas. The approval not only bestows a vote of confidence in Cipla but also in Uganda’s pharmaceutical industry, » he said, noting this will give Cipla an opportunity to enter new markets such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Liberia.
The company will also have an opportunity to export drugs to Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, the DR Congo, Tanzania and South Africa under Zazibona.
Mr Bradford yesterday said Cipla had already upgraded its manufacturing facility in preparation for an increase in production volumes, which is expected to push the drug maker among Africa’s elite pharmaceutical companies.
Cipla, which listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange in 2018, has been seeking ways to improve its sales as well as expand into new markets.
The company is already exporting drugs to South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia, among others.
Mr Bradford said their aggressive push to supply Africa with anti-malarial drugs is starting to yield results not that the company will be able to supply medicine to at least 74 per cent of Africa.
While releasing its financial results in September last year, Cipla announced a 59.7 per cent growth in generated revenue for the half-year ended September 30.
The drug maker, which had seen increased activity in the export market during the period between April and September, reported a growth in revenue from Shs76.7b to Shs122.6b.