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Aspen could supply 10 million dexamethasone tablets to SA

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Published Jun 25, 2020

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CAPE TOWN -

South African pharmaceutical giant Aspen says it could supply up to 10 million dexamethasone tables within a month as the country looks to use it as a Covid-19 treatment.

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The drug is not a cure, but a treatment to relieve inflammation to various parts of the body and has shown to improve circumstances for those on ventilators by 20 percent.

“We would look to ramp up further should there be a need for additional products. Once the government can give us a sense, we can work out the supply,” said Aspen CEO Stephen Saad.

Aspen has received orders from WHO, UNICEF and various other agencies but assured that they have sufficient ingredients and manufacturing capacity to supply the other markets as well.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from the World Health Organization added that dexamethasone is life-saving to critical patients.

“The next challenge is to increase production and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most.

“Demand has already surged, following the UK trial results showing dexamethasone's clear benefit.

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“Fortunately, this is an inexpensive medicine and there are many dexamethasone manufacturers worldwide, who we are confident can accelerate production,” he said.

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Covid-19

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