arv.jpgThe National Aids Council has urged local drug manufacturing companies to come on board and venture into manufacturing of anti-retroviral drugs to make the drugs more affordable.

The call follows a recent development which saw a local pharmaceutical company getting World Health Organisation certification to manufacture ARVs.

The move by the World Health Organisation has seen Varichem producing Stalanev, a first line combination drug for AIDS treatment.

In Zimbabwe, 98% of people who are on ARVS require the drug.

National AIDS Council Board Vice Chairperson, Dr Phineas Makurira said the recent development is a welcome move which is expected to make the price of ARV’s affordable to many.

“Varichem is the first pharmaceutical company to manufacture ARVs. We as NAC are happy with the development and we are hoping to see more local companies coming on board and making the drugs accessible,” said Dr Makurira.

The manufacture of ARV combination drugs will see Zimbabwe lessen dependence on imported drugs, while also creating employment opportunities for the local people.