Local manufacture of anti-AIDS announced

People living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda could soon have access to cheaper, locally produced versions of antiretroviral drugs.

The Kampala-based company, Quality Chemicals (QC), on Wednesday announced its intention to manufacture the anti-AIDS drugs before the end of 2004.

"We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and [the] Uganda AIDS Commission to have this facility in place," QC managing director, Emmanuel Katongole, told the UN news service PlusNews.

He said the project was necessary not just to reduce the current price of anti-AIDS drugs, but also to make sure the drugs were "continuously available".

AIDS activists have, however, cautioned people needing the medication that the move could take longer than QC or the government were willing to admit.