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CAIRO - 16 November 2020: Pharco pharmaceutical company aims to localize the manufacture of the novel coronavirus vaccine and export it to Africa, head of the firm, Sherin Helmy, said Monday.
"We have been working on finding more than one alternative for anti-Covid-19 vaccines in Egypt since the outbreak of the pandemic so we can negotiate the price later. If the coronavirus wave exacerbated, the wealthy countries will be the most demanding and competing over the vaccines. Hence, it was important for Egypt to diversify the sources of treatments between China and Russia," Helmy told Youm7.
Some 70 percent of drugs used in Africa are imported, which wastes much of the hard currency, Helmy said, adding that there are agreements with several African nations to establish pharmaceutical plants on their territories.
These nations include Burundi, Mali, Tanzania, and Nigeria. The agreements entail three phases: transit for one and a hald year, packaging for another one and a half year, and then full manufacture in the designated state, according to helmy.
Pharco has already embarked on the first phase in Madagascar and trasnfers expertise to the country of 28 million people.
The company has seven plants in Egypt, one of which is near the Egyptian-Japanese University in Alexandria. The company will offer a training facility for African experts in the field of pharmaceutical industry as the university provides scholarships for 150 Africans.
Pharco has successfully manufactured the drugs used in treating Hepatitis C and thus helped treat some four million patients, including in Africa, out of seven million worldwide. It also established the first factory in Egypt to manufacture raw pharmaceutical materials locally.