Four Companies Apply to Import Covid-19 Drug

A total of four foreign pharmaceutical companies have tendered their application to the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) to supply the country with Covid-19 vaccine.

The companies are Square Pharmaceuticals (Bangladesh), Beximco Pharmaceuticals (Bangladesh), Cipla Ltd (India), Gilead Life Sciences, the manufacturer of Veklury (the innovator for Remdesivir).

PPB said the companies have been licensed to manufacture Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has been cleared by World Health Organization (WHO) to treat Covid-19 patients.

According to the poisons board, the four companies have proven efficacy and safety but the applications will not be approved until they submit data evidence.

PPB told the Nation that there have been meetings by one of the pharmaceuticals for an application for emergency use authorization of Covid-19 vaccine.

A COVID-19 Test. [Courtesy]
“The advantage is that the vaccine is based on a vaccine platform that has been used previously which assures better safety.  We are yet to receive their application for issuance of emergency use authorization or full registration,” PPB official told the Nation.

The board further said that all the applications were still under review and further compassionate use authorization has been issued from time-to-time for needy patients adding that one of the applicants will be allow import and distribution once the review is done.

The applications come days after United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to Remdesivir for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Pharmacy and Poisons Board. Photo/Courtesy

WHO approved Remdesivir in October after it found that the drug had little or no side effect on patients.

Kenya is yet to deplete the consignment of drugs donated by government of India for Covid-19 through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs including metronidazole, levocetrizine, montelukast, ceftriaxone, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.

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