A Bangladeshi drug-maker, Square Pharmaceuticals, will start producing medicines at its production facility in Kenya in the next four months.
The company has taken the initiative targeting its unmet demand in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan, reports The East African.
The pharmaceutical firm started the construction of a plant in 2018 at the tax-friendly export processing zones (EPZ) in Athi River with an initial investment of $25 million. The plant is now ready to begin commercial production.
“We will hopefully be able to start manufacturing at the plant by July or August,” Tapan Chowdhury, managing director of Square Pharmaceuticals, was quoted saying this week by local Bangladeshi media.
Trial production at the new facility is expected to begin on July 31. Among the drugs lined for production are drugs for diabetes, malaria, cardiovascular diseases and anti-psychotic diseases.
“The drugs that we intend to manufacture are branded generics that are on the World Health Organization pre-qualified drugs list that the organisation has listed for treating priority diseases,” said Mr Chowdhury in 2018 during the groundbreaking.
In Bangladesh, the firm exports medicines to over 43 countries.
The plant is expected to minimise the dependency on pharmaceutical imports and reduce the cost of drugs for Kenya. The country imports medicines worth $600 million annually, according to official statistics.