By Our Reporter
Uganda is honouring Cipla’s chairman Dr. Yusuf Hamied by renaming the road in which the CiplaQCIL facility is based after him specifically for his ground-breaking humanitarian approach in providing access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Considered a visionary for over 60 years in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, Dr Hamied has dedicated his career to serve humanity, directly combating the most threatening diseases and epidemics humans have ever encountered. His clear passion for expanding access to medicines has saved millions of people living in some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. Because of his passion for people, Dr Hamied embodies the ethos of “Caring for Life” and helping to make a difference in the life of a patient.
Dr Hamied graduated with honours from the University of Cambridge in 1957 and completed a PhD in 1960 under the tutelage of the Nobel Laureate Alexander Todd. Many honours have followed including being elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society in 2019 for his service to the cause of science. During his career, Dr Hamied commercially synthesised many essential drugs in diverse therapy areas including steroids, antibiotics, HIV/AIDS, respiratory and oncology drugs.
Amongst the many essential drugs that he has commercially synthesised, perhaps the most important one for Uganda and Africa has been the world’s first ever recommended fixed dose combination to treat HIV/AIDS. It was made available at less than $1 per day compared to over the $12,000 per patient per year prevailing in most countries throughout the world and saved the lives of millions of people across the developing world.
Together with cooperation from the Ugandan government, Cipla established the CiplaQCIL facility in Kampala – one of the first World Health Organization (WHO) GMP approved factories in sub-Saharan Africa producing antiretrovirals and anti-malarial medicines. This went a long way to helping Uganda become more self-sufficient in healthcare, ensuring that vital medicines were available at affordable prices with guaranteed security of supply.
Dr Hamied has always been outspoken on his views on the prices charged for innovative medicines by the major pharmaceutical companies and this quote of his to Forbes.com sums his ethos up, “My idea of a better-ordered world is one in which medical discoveries would be free of patents and there would be no profiteering from life or death.”
CiplaQCIL Chairman, Emmanuel Katongole said, “We are proud and honoured that the contribution to saving millions of African lives through making antiretrovirals available at a cost of a $ a day by Dr Youssef Hamied has been recognized in Uganda by the naming the road in his name on which the CiplaQCIL facility is situated.”
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