NRM has supported scientists, notably, those in Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CQCIL), to replace imported drugs for HIV and malaria. The support included an off-taker agreement where the Government committed to buy all ARV drugs from CQCIL. Other interventions in the sector included President Yoweri Museveni directing the Ministry of Health not to import any drug or medicine that is manufactured locally.
This was followed by the Government putting a levy of 12% on the importation of drugs or medicines that are locally manufactured. As a result, the scientists have succeeded in negotiating the development of biological drugs. As a way of promoting our traditional and complementary medicine, NRM government enacted Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act in 2019.
The rich vegetation of Uganda offers various medicinal advantages as we can trace far back in history. Our ancestors had remedies for almost all diseases. NRM government is going to take big steps in promoting the research and development of safe complementary medicines to boost the health sector. This will enable the gifted natural healers to be guided, through clinical trials, to develop commercial products whose safety and efficacy meet world health standards.
The Natural Chemotherapeutic Research Institute (NCRI) was awarded a grant worth Ush2.04 billion with the immediate objective of enabling it to research and develop a remedy for COVID-19. The long-term aim, however, is to facilitate development of safe herbal drugs for treatment of various diseases. NCRI is currently laying emphasis on bee products and Warbugia Ugandensis (Mukuza Nume).