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TANZANIA: Local firm to produce ARVs starting next year

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

DAR ES SALAAM, 30 May (PLUSNEWS) - A local Tanzania pharmaceutical company will begin producing generic antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in mid-2006 from a factory in the northern town of Arusha, an official with the firm announced on Monday.

"We are optimistic that the locally produced ARVs will be accessible to many HIV/AIDS patients in Tanzania," Ramadhani Madabida, the managing director Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries (TPI), told PlusNews.

The company has already started importing the raw materials from China, and its factory has successfully produced the drug on a trial basis, Madabida said.

He said the Chinese suppliers had assured the firm of an uninterrupted supply of the raw materials at reasonable prices. He added that TPI had engaged experts from a German medical organisation known as Action Medeor as well as others from Thailand and China to work for the plant.

About seven percent of adult Tanzanians, or about two million people, are HIV positive, according to a recent government study. Many of them do not have access to ARVs.


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