Thailand's Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) can successfully produce its own version of anti-bird flu capsules with imported raw materials, according to the Minister of Public Health.
Speaking after a meeting of senior officials on the drug production and establishment of an anti-bird flu vaccine plant, Public Health Minister Pinij Jarusombat said it is good news that the Government Pharmaceutical Organization could make Oseltamivir - -the primary anti-bird flu treatment -- with a quality equivalent to the original drug.
Made of the same ingredients, Oseltamivir manufactured in Thailand is 50 percent cheaper than imported Oseltamivir, the generic name of Tamiflu.
GPO director Mongkol Jivasantikarn said it took one year planning for the GPO to produce Oseltamivir in the form of a capsule costing 70 Baht (about 1.75 US dollars), compared to 120 Baht (about 3 US dollars) for a capsule of imported Oseltamivir.
Mongkol said the GPO has a capacity to produce 400,000 capsules of the medicine a day. In case of emergency, it can increase the production to 5 million capsules in a short period.
Anti-bird flu capsules made by the GPO can dissolve easily. Its efficiency in dissolving is as high as 99 percent compared with the original drug, he said.
The Department of Medical Sciences will conduct a bioequivalence study of the newly produced drug in the next four months.