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Drugs company revived

Mpeshe Selebalo

 MASERU — The Lesotho Pharmaceutical Corporation (LPC) which stopped operations in 2007 is set to resume full-scale production early next year under new investors.

The company was granted an operating licence last month.

LPC, which is based in Mafeteng, will trade under the name A-Pharma Lesotho.

It is a joint venture between the government of Lesotho, Chinese and local investors.

The government and Chinese investors hold a 30 percent stake each with the remaining 40 percent in the hands of individual local investors.

An official at A-Pharma, Mojalefa Rampono, on Thursday told the Sunday Express that the Chinese investors will assume direct management of the pharmaceutical company.

He said the company will produce medication as well as cosmetics.

“The company will produce at a full scale from early next year when the construction and refurbishment of the facilities is completed,” Rampono said.

He said the company was currently operating at a “minimum level” and was only producing cosmetic products.

Rampono said the company was also busy refurbishing the buildings which had fallen into a dilapidated state since the closure of the firm.

He said the process is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Lesotho’s only pharmaceutical company was shut down in 2007, forcing the country to import virtually all medications for the health sector.

Rampono said the new company was eyeing the cosmetics market in the Free State province of South Africa.

“We are looking into exporting to the eastern and western parts of the Free State province,” he said.

“We are already in negotiations with two export agents to identify the market.”

Rampono said the company was also looking at supplying the local market with medical supplies as well as pharmaceutical products.

He said local sales of their cosmetic products were “very encouraging” even though they were not yet producing at full capacity.

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