CAPS to roll out anti-retroviral drug before year end


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A Zimbabwean pharmaceutical company could be rolling out its first antiretroviral (ARV) drug before the end of the year.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed CAPS Holdings said in its interim report for the six months to June that the drug had already been registered and was ready for commercialisation.

In an interview, the company’s chief executive Officer Tendai Kapumha said the drug was being developed in consultation with a reputable Indian drug company. He, however, declined to disclose the name of the company saying this would be unveiled when the drug is launched.

“Barring any constraints, the drug should be on the market before the end of the year,” Kapumha said.

CAPS has operations in Botswana and South Africa. It says its operation in South Africa was very profitable but was affected by product shortages from Zimbabwe. The Botswana operation was also profitable and was now exploring ways of increasing sales.

The unveiling of an anti-retroviral drug could boost the company’s revenue as more and more Zimbabweans are now accepting Aids as a reality and are resorting to ARVs.

An estimated 1.8 million people are reported to be HIV positive in Zimbabwe. The Aids prevalence rate which stood at 24 percent last year is reported to have declined to 22 percent, but remains one of the highest in the world.

According to its results, the pharmaceutical company did not do badly either. Its sales for the half year increased by 164 percent from $55.1 billion to $145.5 billion. Net profit was up 177 percent from $5.2 billion to $14.7 billion.

Apart from manufacturing drugs, CAPS runs a chain of pharmacies, QV, and a private hospital, St Anne’s, in Harare.

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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