Generic AIDS drugs produced locally

A leading Kenyan drug manufacturer could soon start producing generic versions of HIV/AIDS drugs, local newspaper The East African Standard reported on Tuesday.

Cosmos Pharmaceuticals Ltd said production of the drugs, mainly for the Kenyan and East African market, would begin within the next month, and was the result of extensive research and development undertaken at its Nairobi facility.

Dr Prakash Patel, managing director of Cosmos, said the company was currently "waiting for the green light from the government" to commence full-scale manufacturing of the drugs.

He said the locally produced generics would push the monthly cost of treatment down from about US $46 to $33.

Cosmos will be Africa's second manufacturer of generic antiretroviral drugs, after the South African company Aspen Pharmacare which announced a similar move earlier this year.