A person holding ARV drugs Photo/thestar

Kenyan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company Universal Corporation Ltd has produced the first commercial Antiretroviral (ARVs) that comply with strict standards put in place by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the company’s boss Perviz Dhanani, the manufacturing factory received certification in November last year from WHO to commence commercial production.

The Kikuyu based company has produced about three million ARV tablets this week.

This makes Universal Corporation the first local d***s company  to commercially produces ARVs.

“We have the capacity to produce one million tablets a day. The WHO certification means we can receive orders from governments and global agencies such as Unicef and Global Fund,” said Mr Dhanani.

The factory has also received other necessary approvals to supply d***s bought through Global Funds and Pepfar funds.

{ Read: Kenya inches closer to developing HIV vaccine }

The first batch of ARVs by Universal is a combination of Nevirapine, Lamivudine, and Zidovudine.

Mr Dhanani comfirmed that the first order of the company’s production is for Ivory Coast.

Universal ltd produces 100 different pharmaceutical products sold in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone.

Kenya spends about Sh38 billion annually on HIV treatments at about Sh1,800 per patient per month.

In Africa, only a few countries manufacture ARVs because of competition from cheap generics sourced from India.

{ See also: Kenya joins hunt for HIV vaccine }

Local producers find it difficult to get orders for ARVs because Global Fund and the US Presidential E*******y Fund for Aids Relief are the main financiers and prefer to source cheaply from India.

ARVs d***s are used in managing HIV/AIDS and control the infection of the virus infection.

 

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