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NMS, CIPLA-QC in court over ‘imported’ Aids and Malaria drugs

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The High Court in Kampala on Wednesday summoned the Attorney General of Government and  National Medical Stores (NMS) to respond to claims that it has continuously withdrawn money from the consolidated fund  to purchase imported  anti-retroviral and anti-malarial drugs from a local manufacturer disguised as locally made.

Documents presented to court show that between December 2005 and April 2012, the Uganda government signed a memorandum of understanding with a local pharmaceutical  company  Quality  Chemicals Uganda Ltd now CIPLA Quality Chemical Industries for the manufacture of ARVs and anti-malarial drugs which they would buy off at a 15% benefit to the company.

According to the petitioner Godfrey Magezi who is  a procurement practitioner,  investigations by the IGG revealed that Quality Chemicals whose contract runs up to 2019 only manufactures 16% of the required drugs and imports the remaining 84%. Magezi accuses Quality Chemicals of  fraudulently packaging the imports as locally made in order to benefit from the government offer  of the 15% purchase of locally manufactured drugs.

Magezi now wants court orders directing  government and NMS to recover over sh 61 billion from CIPLA Quality Chemicals industries which government pays for the  imported drugs which he alleges are disguised as locally made.

The court’s deputy registrar Alex Ajiji has received Magezi’s complaint and  ordered both government and the NMS to file their defence in 15 days.

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