Generic ARV drug to be launched in Botswana today
by Ngonidzashe Dzimiri
The global pharmaceuticals company, Mylan, is set to launch its generic version of Anti Retroviral drug in Botswana today (Wednesday). The product is the generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Epivir Tablets, indicated as part of antiretroviral (ARV) combination therapy for the treatment of HIV-infected adults and children.
The launch of this new drug has been hailed by pharmacists as a timely development when government is battling with the high costs of the ARV drugs.
“This will improve access to antiretroviral drug again, reducing the overall health budget since the generic ARV is more affordable,” said Scott Senwelo, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Botswana (PSB).
The launch of this new drug will take place at the on-going PSB regional conference.
The congress is running under the theme ‘Safe Medicines, Safe Patients’. Senwelo defined the theme as appropriate for the challenges and progress that the industry has made in the last few years.
He added that pharmacists have a pivotal role to play in the provision of quality health care, through both ensuring an efficient supply of medicines and delivering patient-oriented services to promote appropriate use.
“Botswana is sitting on top of people with a lot of skill and knowledge in the use of drugs; pharmacists are trained more than any health cadre and can bring about positive clinical outcomes in sick patients,” he said, adding that if pharmacists are effectively used, they would positively affect adherence to treatment regimen in patients.
Senwelo said that clinical pharmacists have a strong impact on promoting positive clinical outcomes in patients.
He added that they have managed to attract pharmacy experts and pharmaceutical companies to come and take part in this year’s congress. PSB is a recognized professional body both within the continent and internationally.