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Museveni breaks deadlock in wrangle over Covidex drug

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Museveni breaks deadlock in wrangle over Covidex drug

Museveni at Mulago on Jan 27 where he launched the anti-COVID drug

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has finally broken the deadlock in the ownership wrangle over the anti-COVID-19 drug COVIDEX.

Over the past month, Dr. Patrick Ogwang Ogwen, through his Jenna Herbals Ltd, were the first to lay claim on the invention of COVIDEX, has been engaged in a court battle with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) over the ownership of the patent.

MUST threatened to sue Jenna Herbal Ltd should they continue manufacturing and distributing covidex , which had been approved by the National Drug Authority (NDA) as a treatment drug, which rose more tension.

But during his televised address said he offered guidance on the matter.

“We must protect the intellectual property rights of the scientists involved. I have heard of arguments around ownership of the patents and trademarks, but this is a straightforward issue,” he said adding,

“These belong to the scientists who discovered them. If the institutions that employ these scientists want to benefit from their innovations, they should levy a sort of tax, what the technology transfer experts refer to as sharing of royalties.

“Even then, much of the proceeds should go to the inventor so that we encourage our scientists to discover more,” he added.

Museveni lauded scientists for the tremendous work they are doing towards discovering the treatment of covid-19.

Although the president’s address may not force court to dismiss the cases, the fact that MUST and Gulu Universities are public institutions, they are likely to abandon the cases for fear of reprisals from the head of state in case they choose to pursue the matter beyond his guidance.

“Our own scientists are working around the clock to find solutions to attack the corona virus. They are at different levels of development of treatment remedies using our own natural products,” he noted.

“I am aware that several Ugandan teams have now discovered natural extracts that could have therapeutic benefits against COVID-19. I am thus working with many Ugandan scientists to ensure we follow the international standards and guidelines to avoid being labeled inferior and thereby sabotaged by the international players,”
He said that the molecules referred to here act in a similar manner like all the drugs that have been recommended by the World Health Organization.

“For example, the one by Dr. Nambatya, known as UBV-01N has molecules that stop the body from excessive reaction and self-destruction,”

Some of the scientists Museveni said are; Prof Patrick Ogwang of Mbarara University who discovered COVIDEX; and Dr. Alice Lamwaka from Gulu University, whose Covilyce-1 have direct effects on the virus, as well as dampening ‘self-destruction’ effects of the virus (‘panic crisis’).

“Therefore, a few Ugandans and other international skeptics shouldn’t undermine our home-grown scientific efforts by telling lies about our efforts. Also, the scientists involved must follow the globally prescribed steps so that we don’t give our enemies the chance to shot down our products,”

On financing towards the COVID-19 response, Museveni said this is guided by two costed plans; COVID-19 Response Plan (March 2020 – June 2021) and the Resurgence Plan (July 2021 – June 2022).

“This has guided budgetary allocation for; public sensitization, provision of free care and treatment in all Government treatment facilities, ambulance services in all regions of Uganda, enhancement of bed capacity, set up non-traditional treatment facilities (Namboole), procurement of vaccines and oxygen plants, relief support for the most vulnerable population and support to community interventions in Local Governments,” he said.

As ofJuly 29, a total of 93,927 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been registered of which 83,115 had recovered, and 2,690 deaths.

626 patients are currently admitted in various hospitals. 597 are in public health facilities and 29 in private health facilities.
Museveni said that the government is using a multi- pronged approach to secure adequate vaccines for the target population of 22 million, 18 years and above.

“Scientists have informed me that children above 12-18 years can also be vaccinated using the Pfizer vaccine. I have directed the Ministry of Health to include this age group in their estimates and plan holistically,” he said

Museveni said the Uganda gover had placed an order of 2 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines with a down payment of USD 3 million effected through the African Union. Delivery will begin in August 2021.

“I have been informed that tonight, 30th July 2021, we are receiving donations of 286,080 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Norway and 300,000 doses of the Sinovac Vaccine from China. I would like to thank both the Government of Norway and People’s Republic of China for prioritizing the lives of Ugandans,”

“In addition, in September 2021, we are expecting 647,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from USA, 688,000 of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX Facility and 299,000 doses from the United Kingdom. This gives a total of 1,634,000 doses of vaccines which will cater for 817,000 people. Although these are donations, I have directed the Ministry of Health and Finance to urgently secure vaccines for Ugandans,” he added.

By the time he delivered the speech, a total of 1,139,260 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered to the population countrywide; where 902,293 people have received the first dose while 233,950 have received the second one.
Museveni breaks deadlock on ownership rights of Covid-19 drugs

By Arajab Wampula

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has finally broken the deadlock in the ownership wrangle over the anti-COVID-19 drug COVIDEX.

Over the past month, Dr. Patrick Ogwang Ogwen, through his Jenna Herbals Ltd, were the first to lay claim on the invention of COVIDEX, has been engaged in a court battle with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) over the ownership of the patent.

MUST threatened to sue Jenna Herbal Ltd should they continue manufacturing and distributing covidex , which had been approved by the National Drug Authority (NDA) as a treatment drug, which rose more tension.

But during his televised address said he offered guidance on the matter.

“We must protect the intellectual property rights of the scientists involved. I have heard of arguments around ownership of the patents and trademarks, but this is a straightforward issue,” he said adding,

“These belong to the scientists who discovered them. If the institutions that employ these scientists want to benefit from their innovations, they should levy a sort of tax, what the technology transfer experts refer to as sharing of royalties.

“Even then, much of the proceeds should go to the inventor so that we encourage our scientists to discover more,” he added.

Museveni lauded scientists for the tremendous work they are doing towards discovering the treatment of covid-19.

Although the president’s address may not force court to dismiss the cases, the fact that MUST and Gulu Universities are public institutions, they are likely to abandon the cases for fear of reprisals from the head of state in case they choose to pursue the matter beyond his guidance.

“Our own scientists are working around the clock to find solutions to attack the corona virus. They are at different levels of development of treatment remedies using our own natural products,” he noted.

“I am aware that several Ugandan teams have now discovered natural extracts that could have therapeutic benefits against COVID-19. I am thus working with many Ugandan scientists to ensure we follow the international standards and guidelines to avoid being labeled inferior and thereby sabotaged by the international players,”
He said that the molecules referred to here act in a similar manner like all the drugs that have been recommended by the World Health Organization.

“For example, the one by Dr. Nambatya, known as UBV-01N has molecules that stop the body from excessive reaction and self-destruction,”

Some of the scientists Museveni said are; Prof Patrick Ogwang of Mbarara University who discovered COVIDEX; and Dr. Alice Lamwaka from Gulu University, whose Covilyce-1 have direct effects on the virus, as well as dampening ‘self-destruction’ effects of the virus (‘panic crisis’).

“Therefore, a few Ugandans and other international skeptics shouldn’t undermine our home-grown scientific efforts by telling lies about our efforts. Also, the scientists involved must follow the globally prescribed steps so that we don’t give our enemies the chance to shot down our products,”

On financing towards the COVID-19 response, Museveni said this is guided by two costed plans; COVID-19 Response Plan (March 2020 – June 2021) and the Resurgence Plan (July 2021 – June 2022).

“This has guided budgetary allocation for; public sensitization, provision of free care and treatment in all Government treatment facilities, ambulance services in all regions of Uganda, enhancement of bed capacity, set up non-traditional treatment facilities (Namboole), procurement of vaccines and oxygen plants, relief support for the most vulnerable population and support to community interventions in Local Governments,” he said.

As ofJuly 29, a total of 93,927 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been registered of which 83,115 had recovered, and 2,690 deaths.

626 patients are currently admitted in various hospitals. 597 are in public health facilities and 29 in private health facilities.
Museveni said that the government is using a multi- pronged approach to secure adequate vaccines for the target population of 22 million, 18 years and above.

“Scientists have informed me that children above 12-18 years can also be vaccinated using the Pfizer vaccine. I have directed the Ministry of Health to include this age group in their estimates and plan holistically,” he said

Museveni said the Uganda gover had placed an order of 2 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines with a down payment of USD 3 million effected through the African Union. Delivery will begin in August 2021.

“I have been informed that tonight, 30th July 2021, we are receiving donations of 286,080 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Norway and 300,000 doses of the Sinovac Vaccine from China. I would like to thank both the Government of Norway and People’s Republic of China for prioritizing the lives of Ugandans,”

“In addition, in September 2021, we are expecting 647,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from USA, 688,000 of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX Facility and 299,000 doses from the United Kingdom. This gives a total of 1,634,000 doses of vaccines which will cater for 817,000 people. Although these are donations, I have directed the Ministry of Health and Finance to urgently secure vaccines for Ugandans,” he added.

By the time he delivered the speech, a total of 1,139,260 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered to the population countrywide; where 902,293 people have received the first dose while 233,950 have received the second one.

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