Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)’s Prof. Patrick Ogwang has disclosed that many countries in the South Africa Development Corporation (SADC) block have expressed interest in his herbal solution Covidex that many view as a vital component in the fight against Covid-19 virus.
Ogwang revealed last evening in a radio talk show that he had received requests for the drug from different countries including from outside the continent.
“Yes I have so many messages from India, from Malawi from Zambia from Zimbabwe; they want to import Covidex especially now that NDA approved it; they really want to import it. I have heard that some people in Rwanda, Congo are already importing it expensively,” Ogwang revealed.
“Of course there are people who are calling us now they want partnerships from different countries but we have told them that for now we can manage as Ugandans…I don’t think we really need the help, we can make the machines here, the raw materials are in Uganda, the brains are here,” he added.
Ogwang said that emphasis now is on scaling up production so that it can easily be accessed by Ugandans before it is rolled out to the international market.
He pointed out that so much is happening in the back ground regarding and that either next week or two weeks from now they will scale up production in order to satisfy local demand.
Currently, Ogwang said that he is planning to shift the company’s premises from Akright to a spacious industrial plot situated in the Kampala suburb to meet this purpose.
However, he explained that they are in a race against time especially considering the fact that this supportive cure was leaked to the market early.
“Our goal was to look for something that is beneficial against Covid. So how do we end up in the public? I think it was around eleventh of June in the Teso Educational Forum; I was asked on the research I am doing and even anything on Covid,” Ogwang narrated.
“That’s when I told them I am doing research on a product called Covidex for possible use against corona. And then of course without my consent, they began posting it and then the whole thing became viral.”
The Professor and his team had just embarked on evaluative studies pertaining to compounds which could be able to cure Covid-19 and also review Covidex’s safety in depth starting from May till last month.
When asked about what the current high price of his product, Ogwang replied that although the price ranges between 3000 and 5000, his hands are tied regarding the market price.
“Now we cannot control the price in pharmacies and other places, we can only control the price at factory level. Until yesterday Covidex has been at 5000 shillings at factory price. Today we only made it 6000 so up to now the factory price of Covidex by the time we release it its only 6000 shillings,” he responded.
“However there are Ugandans who are heartless, who are unkind who think that this is time to make money. If I was interested in making money, I would be charging 100,000 per bottle and Ugandans would struggle to buy it,” he illustrated.
Ogwang says he is engaging distributors who include to Rocket Health, Spring Pharmacy and Mildmay to ensure that the cost does not go beyond Ushs 10,000 or Ushs 12,000.