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Yusuf Hamied

Uganda honours CIPLA chairman for role in combating HIV/AIDS

posted onSeptember 10, 2020

Uganda has honoured Dr. Yusuf Hamied, the chairman of Cipla renaming a Kampala-based road in which the CiplaQCIL facility is based after him.

The medical doctor played a critical role through 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 serving humanity, directly combatting the most threatening diseases and epidemics humans have ever encountered. 

His 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. Yusuf Hamied, who commercially synthesized many essential drugs in diverse therapy areas including steroids, antibiotics, HIV/AIDS, respiratory and oncology drugs – has an honours degree from the University of Cambridge (1957) and a PhD (1960), which was acquired under the tutelage of the Nobel Laureate Alexander Todd. 

He was in 2019 elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society for his service to the cause of science.

Changing the face of HIV/AIDS in Africa

Dr. Hameid played a crucial role in the commercial synthesising what is said to be the world’s first-ever recommended fixed-dose combination to treat HIV/AIDS in Uganda and Africa. “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,” officials said in a statement.

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 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.”

Commenting on the development, 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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