Iraqi-made '\'Viagra'\' to go on sale next month

Published April 12th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

An Iraqi pharmaceutical company announced Wednesday, April 11, that its own version of the male anti-impotence drug Viagra, baptised Samagra, will go on sale in May. 

 

Samagra was one of 15 new locally produced medicines that will hit the shelves next month, Hammudi Abbes Al-Hamid, director of the National Pharmaceutical Industry Company, told Alif Ba weekly. 

 

In April 1999, Iraq's health ministry banned the sale of Viagra on fears that it was a health risk, and gave the green light for Samagra at the end of last year. 

 

Hamid said that his firm, based in Samara, 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Baghdad, had doubled pill production to 250,000 in 2000 and expected to increase that figure by a further 40 percent this year. 

 

He said the company had contacted international drug companies specialized in producing medicines for cancer, incidences of which have quadrupled since the 1991 Gulf War because of what Baghdad says was the use of depleted uranium weaponry. 

 

Baghdad regularly rails against US and British representatives on the UN sanctions committee for blocking imports of medicines under the "oil-for-food" deal which authorizes it to export crude to finance imports of humanitarian supplies. — (AFP, Baghdad) 

 

© Agence France Presse 2001

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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