Prof Patrick Ogwang, the brain behind Covidex herbal drug that treats Covid-19 has threatened to drag Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) to Court for illegally using his product to solicit funding from government.
Through his lawyers Omongole and Co. Advocates, Prof Ogwang alleged that his company-Jena Herbals (U) Ltd which manufactures Covidex is a fully registered facility in Uganda and has business of inventing herbal remedies to address various ailments.
“However, to our client’s dismay and amazement, they have learnt that you have illegally without tbeir authorization used three Jena products of Jena DS Xtra, Artemune and Covidex to solicit funding from Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. You further went ahead to evaluate the products of Jena Herbals (U) Ltd without our client’s consent,” the lawyers told MUST Vice Chancellor Dr Celestine Obua in a 9 July, 2021.
“The contract between MUST and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is formed on three Jena Herbals (U) Ltd’s products yet out client was neither involved nor informed,” they added.
The development comes just days after MUST claimed ownership of Covidex.
In a press release issued last month, Prof Obua said the Covidex was one of the products under the development of MUST through Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Centre (PHARMBIOTRAC).
“The development has taken place at this ACE and a presentation on its development was made to donors. The product was considered an excellent potential herbal medicine and we were advised to go ahead and follow the normal procedures of approval according to the approved procedures on drug development and production in Uganda, “Prof Obua said.
” Unfortunately, the product was leaked to the market before going through the all required procedures. As MUST we value the safety of the population and wish to follow the right procedures, guided by the National Regulatory and Certification Authorities (NDA, UNBS etc) in the country. We therefore would like to request the general public to be patient and allow this product undergo all necessary procedures.”
Recently, NDA approved Covidex as a supporting treatment for viral infections including Covid-19.
And over the weekend during an interview with Capital FM Desrt Island Discs , Prof Ogwang, revealed that President Yoweri Museveni phone called him and promised to extend a financial boost towards his project.
“I told him I want security especially for the factory and for myself. I also told him I want the capacity to expand production. He told me he would connect me to Paul Lokech and Madam Nakyobe (Lucy) to handle the security and financing. He kept calling me every day to check on the progress,” Ogwang said.
He also noted that he is already manufacturing, producing and bringing to the market a minimum of 30,000 20mls bottles of his Covidex a day.
All this is being done from his Entebbe Road plot/small piece of land located in the Akright City which he converted to facilitate mass production of the vastly-demanded Covidex product.
The 48 year old further disclosed that he is humane and alive to the fact that majority of his fellow Ugandans are financially stressed which is why he is strictly selling to all NDA-approved pharmacies countrywide at at little as Shs5,000 per bottle.
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