Brazil to produce ARVs in Mozambique

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Brazilian government will soon begin producing antiretrovirals (ARVs) and other pharmaceuticals at a factory in Mozambique, a statement from the Brazilian presidency, obtained by PANA here Saturday, said.

It said the production would be done through the Institute of Drug Technology (Farmanguinhos), a unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation.

A ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction and commencement of operations was due to hold Saturday in Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo, at the conclusion of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) Summit.

Officially known as the Mozambican Medications Company (SMM), the plant is the first public institution in the pharmaceutical industry in Africa, and was made possible through a unique partnership between the governments of Brazil and Mozambique.

The statement said the initiative is part of a cooperation agreement between the two countries and is expected to benefit about 2.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Mozambique.

Initially, three antiretroviral drugs will be produced - Lamivudine + Zidovudine, Nevirapine and Ribavirin - totaling 226 million pharmaceutical units per year that will be distributed to patients. Another five drugs will be added to the list in the future.

In addition to the antiretrovirals, another 21 types of drugs are scheduled to be produced, including antibiotics, anti-anemias, antihypertensives, anti-inflammatories, hypoglycemiants, diuretics, antiparasitics and corticosteroid drugs.

Overall, the factory is expected to produce about 371 million pharmaceutical units per year.

The technology for development and production of the medications will be transferred gradually by Farmanguinhos.

The Vale Foundation, Fiocruz’s partner in the project, financed 80 percent of the infrastructural construction of the plant, which is 3,000 square metres in size.

The Brazilian government is providing support totaling US$23 million, which includes all stages of development and implementation, including feasibility studies, acquisition of equipment, technology transfer, technical training, validation and registration to submission of national and international certification.

The development of the facility, which began in 2003, involved several stages.

With a population of approximately 24 million, Mozambique suffers from an epidemic of HIV/AIDS that affects 11.3 percent of the population, according to data from the National Council for the Fight Against AIDS (CNCS).

According to the director of the Fiocruz office in Africa, José Luiz Telles, increasing regular access for patients to quality medicines is currently a priority on the public health agenda of Mozambique.

"The installation of the antiretrovirals factory will contribute to meeting this challenge. On the production line, for example, is the drug Nevirapine, which is currently used in the national protocol for treating infected children and in the prevention of vertical transmission, i.e. from mother to child," said Telles.
-0- PANA SEG 21July2012

21 july 2012 11:26:51

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