Swiss medicine package bears fruit

Obadiah Moyo

A consignment of drugs to treat cardiovascular ailments, cancer, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases will arrive from Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis within two months under a special programme with Zimbabwe, one of the pilot recipients.

Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo yesterday thanked Novartis for the package at a Press briefing in Harare following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Zimbabwe and the pharmaceutical company in May last year in Switzerland during the World Health Assembly.

“This time they are focusing on non-communicable diseases especially the cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, respiratory ailments and so on. We are very grateful that they will be providing us with a unique package which is coming at a very, very low cost,” he said.

“It is perhaps going to cost US$1 per month per treatment where normally the medication would have been US$20. So it’s a big saving where a patient will be paying US$1 instead of US$20. We have already placed an order with them. They are going to be supplying us with medicines.”

He said the medication will go a long way in alleviating medicine shortages in the country.

“As you are aware right now in Zimbabwe, we are looking for medicines so we have a partner here who is going to be providing us with the product, making our warehouse fully-stocked with medicines and making sure all our hospitals have got adequate medicines. This is coming through this exercise organised and finalised by Novartis,” said Minister Moyo.

“The medication we ordered is worth US$400 000 and the consignment should arrive soon,” he said.

Novartis Head of Southern African Countries Vincent Rossignol confirmed the medication will arrive soon.

“If I’m not mistaken, the order has been discussed before and the assignment of the production capacity has been reserved. Once we have the order we will make sure we ship as quickly as possible,” he said.

He said they want to help health challenges bedevilling the country. – Herald