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UPC asks gov’t to regulate COVIDEX prices

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has asked the government to intervene and regulate the price of COVIDEX herbal drug on the market.

This follows the increase in the prices of the drug. Before it was approved by the National Drug Authority-NDA, the drug was being sold on the open market for an average of 10,000 Shillings.

But this price went up fivefold, selling for as much as 50,000 Shillings as the demand went up across the country.

Sharon Arach Oyat, the UPC party spokesperson says that it’s important that the government intervenes to regulate the prices of the essential drugs especially those that are proven to be useful in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Oyat, considering the economic situation in the country caused by the lockdown, the government should not overlook the matter as few people are taking advantage of the situation to extort money.

Oyat also says that the government should invest in local research and innovations to reduce the dependency on vaccines from abroad.

Paul Lakuma, a research fellow with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), says Ugandans are partly to be blamed for the hiked prices of the drug.

According to Lakuma, the rush by the people to stock the covidex drug even without consultations with the health workers is enough to see the price increase.

Lakuma also says that Ugandans are embracing herbal treatment because of a lack of trust in the country’s health system.

On Wednesday, the pharmaceutical society of Uganda together with the developer of the herbal drug Prof Patrick Engegu Ogwang said that they will move in to regulate the price of COVIDEX on the market.

Pamela Achii, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda says that they have decided to streamline the sale of COVIDEX to only four pharmacies in the country. So far two pharmacies; Ecopharm, and Springs Pharmacy have been designated to sell COVIDEX, and Achii is optimistic that the price of the drug will go down in the next few days.



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