ZIMBABWE in next two months will receive non-communicable diseases (NCDs) medication it purchased from Switzerland headquartered pharmaceutical manufacturing company Novartis.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Briefing the press in a meeting graced by the Novartis team, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said this development follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two parties in June last year in Switzerland during the World Health Assembly.
This time they are focusing on NCDs especially the cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, respiratory ailments and so on. We are very grateful that they will be providing us with a unique package which is coming at a very, very low cost.
“It is going to cost USD1 per month per treatment. Where it’s costing one dollar just for you to understand normally in some cases, the medication would have been USD20. So it’s a big saving where a patient will be paying USD1 instead of USD20. We have already placed an order with them. They are going to be supplying us with medicines.
“As you are aware right now in Zimbabwe, we are desperately looking for medicines so we have a partner here who is going to be providing us with medicines, making our warehouse fully stocked with medicines and making sure all our hospitals have got adequate medicines. This is coming through this exercise organized and finalised by Novartis,” he said.
He told this publication that the medication ordered is worth USD400 000.
“The medication ordered is worth USD400 000 and the consignment should arrive soon,” he said.
With shipping from the company usually taking three months, Novartis Chief Financial Officer Global Health Sebastian Schlechtriem said Zimbabwe might have the medication in less than that.
“I actually believe we should be in a position to deliver quicker than three months. If I’m not mistaken, the order has been prediscussed and the assignment of the production capacity has been reserved. Once we have the order we will make sure we ship as quickly as possible,” he said.
Novartis Head of Southern African Countries Vincent Rossignol said they want to learn health challenges bedevelling the country.
“[pullquote]In this initiative we are piloting the program in Zimbabwe and some of the key countries. We are hoping that soon we will make medicine available at affordable prices in partnering some of the activities to health strengthen the healthcare system through reaching many patients,” he said.[/pullquote]
During the visit in Basel the Minister and his delegation toured Novartis Continuous manufacturing drug development site which is a compact and more agile model and a major departure from the old models. The new plant has a very high output and has some elements that can be replicated in Zimbabwe.
Pharmaceuticals Group Novartis, is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies Novartis in terms of global pharmaceutical sales.
During the visit in Basel the Minister and his delegation toured Novartis Continuous manufacturing drug development site which is a compact and more agile model and a major departure from the old models.