Friday, April 8, 2022

Running to Museveni Won’t Save You – NDA Boss Tells Defiant Herbalists –

Dr. Medard K. Bitekyerezo, the Chairman Board of the National Drug Authority (NDA) has appealed to all drug developers especially “inventors of herbal remedies” to abide by the NDA testing and approval procedures other than “making noise on social media that NDA is not co-operative.”

Bitekyerezo wondered why someone who invests time and resources in developing a drug would shun free scientific testing services at NDA and opt for social media testimonials to push for certification.

“I hear people are seeking audience of president Museveni to tell him about their drugs, you are wasting your time for nothing. We bought a machine for testing all drugs at $280,000 from Malaysia and it’s at the NDA Offices in Mulago, bring your drugs and we test for you free of charge, the president you are disturbing trusted us, we are his eyes when it comes to medicine,” he said.

He pointed out that NDA has learnt some developers are hesitating to approach NDA over risks of losing their patent rights. This, he said, shouldn’t be cause for worry.

“Nobody can steal the patent right of someone, and nobody can say they brought their drug to NDA for testing and NDA gave the ownership right to someone else. I am urging you to come and we test your drugs for free as we have done for others like Prof. Patrick Ogwang of covidex; the pharmacist called Rutoti of Elo-Cough, he owns it, nobody has stolen it … we looked at it,” he added.

Bitekyerezo made these remarks while closing the two day first National Drug Authority (NDA) Pharmaceutical Quality Control Convention at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala on Thursday.

The convention which was attended by 60 members comprising of Quality Assurance Controllers from the manufacturers and packers of pharmaceutical products across the country, aimed at creating programs that support local pharmaceutical manufacturers to boost innovation and production of essential, efficacious and good quality medicines.

Bitekyerezo launching the annual convention.

Bitekyerezo’s comments follow the recent accusations by herbalist Dr. David Ssenfuka who developed Cancer and diabetes remedies but accused NDA for mooting plans of stealing his patent rights.

“I am hearing so many people on social media saying they have got drugs but can’t bring it, I myself and my team are here, bring it and we test it for you, we do clinical trials with you so that you don’t have doubts. I promise Ugandans that whoever has got a drug and has got a patent right, we shall not allow anybody to steal it,” he said.

Some of the participants

He vowed to fight fake drugs on market.

“I am a Ugandan, this is my country I will never have another country again, so whatever I do is aimed at protecting Uganda and its people. I will never allow anybody to bring a fake drug which will kill our people, that’s why I am grateful, with my team at NDA, for being keen and careful and ensuring that no step is jumped during drug development,” he said.

Speaking to the participants, Bitekyerezo challenged pharmacists to start developing and manufacturing drugs that are currently imported.

“Our scientists should start thinking of manufacturing drugs for these complicated diseases so that we don’t rely on outside industries. We lost a treasure, a Speaker who will be buried on Friday in Omoro because of Cancer, start working on our own cancer drugs,” he said.

“Ensure that you produce quality drugs; this program will help you assess yourself before you bring your drugs to NDA for testing and this will help to save time and fasten processes. Let Ugandans buy our own drugs since we have to support BUBU,” he said.

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