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September 25, 2007

Uganda to Produce Generic Antiretrovirals

Next month, Uganda will begin manufacturing generic versions of antiretroviral drugs in order to make them more affordable and accessible to people living with HIV in the country.

About 6.7 percent of adults in Uganda are HIV positive. Currently about 100,000 people are accessing antiretroviral drugs, as opposed to the 300,000 that need them, according the head of Uganda’s AIDS Control Program, Dr. Elizabeth Madraa.

By swapping costly brand name meds for generics made at home, health officials hope to reach more people and cut down on treatment delays for HIV positive patients: "We shall not have to wait for shipment," said Uganda’s director of general health services, Dr. Sam Zaramba, who said that it can take up to six months to receive drug shipments from outside of the country.

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