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« Southwest MPs, Mayors, Chiefs Say Roads Are Priority | Main | Labour Delegate Tells CTE Workers 'Go To Court' »

Thursday, 26 October 2006

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mcmboms


Mr.lyonga, could you tell the world what you studied in Germany and the university?This will throw more light into your case and experience.Did you decide to go back to Cameroon or ..........
hope to hear from you
mboms

Bimbia Boy

Mcmboms what Mr Lyonga studied has nothing to do with Aurea centro 100 case.Violation of intellectual property rights is a severe crime both at national and international circles. We should avoid getting into personal issues such as did you decide to go back to cameroon or what you studied.

We are in the era of globalization thus individuals striving to survive must acquire diverse skills. You dont need to be an engineer to start up a company neither a medical doctor to run an HIV/AIDS project.

We need to encourage Cameroonians in the diaspora to go back home and establish lucrative businesses. Batiston a good example of youth empowerment and we should all replicate his struggle in whatever we do.

Mcmboom reframe your questions. Batiston keep up the struggle.

Kumbaboy

This is my diagnosis: The Cameroun Minister of Public Health wanted soya but Batiston Ikome Lyonga does not give soya! In return, the Minister denied granting the authorization. That is how France Afrique works.

What do you expect? The crooks Ger Ludwig, Uwe Westerwinter, Heimut Haneklaus and Manfred Leigers, Fai Fominyen Ngu and Thompson Kinge gave Soya! These guys need to be investigated in Cameroon and Germany. One of their bank accounts or expense filing is going to show a direct or indirect payment to the Cameroonian minister!

The Fako High Court should fairly honor Dr. Ikome Lyonga. He began it all. It is unacceptable to let crooks steal the benefits of Lyonga's clinical research. The Minister of Health is not himself above the law.

mcmboms

Mr. Bimbia Boy,I do not have any issues with Mr BAtiston and do not even evn know this guy. I have much to contribute on this topic and want to know his background. There is no point selling drugs without knowing how it works.
let Mr batiston forget about this caseans stop spending his money with the courts.Lets wait and see. This case has gone on for long,,

mcmboms

rexon

Bimbia Boy,

Note that Mr Lyonga has not been shy in telling us that he studied in Germany. Thus there is nothing wrong if Mr Mcmboms is also asking of where and what he actually studied. He might have a reason for wanting to know much about his background and since Mr Lyongo has openly told us here that he actually studied in Germany, he should also provide the details of where and when.

Kumbaboy

McMboms wrote "...there is no point selling drugs without knowing how it works".

McMboms' argument evades the crux of the matter and underestimates the intelligence of Mr. Lyonga, Bioprap - drug manufacturer and those behind the clinical work at CUSS.

Mr. Lyonga is a smart guy behaving with professional ethics and in a very methodical manner. That is why he will win this case.

Mr. Lyonga had first secured the authority of the drug manufacturer in Germany. Upon returning home, he initiated a clinical testing program at CUSS under the supervision of Prof. Peter Ndumbe. Success at that point permitted Lyonga to seek a commercial license but the Health Minister Urbain Olanguena (O'langa!) Awono will not give him one.

You don't need in PhD in pharmacy to sell drugs. You need someone with good professional ethics, specific clinical knowledge on the medicine, and excellent communication skills.

McMboms, some of the best sellers of cocoa and coffee are not farmers and neither do they know the physiological action of caffeine in the human body.

A level playing field and respect for other peoples' intellectual property are requisites for development. The alternative is chaos fuelled by opportunists with no respect for others.

mcmboms

Mr. kumba boy,You said ".... you need someone with good professional ethics, clinical knowledge on the medicine and excellent communication skills.We are singing from the same hymnal.To acquire these skills you need to go to school whic mr. Lyonga did acccording to the article. I wish to find out what he studied in germany to have acqiured such skills.I do not know this mr. lyonga but it seems there is something missing along the line.
yes some of the best sellers of cocoa are not farmers , but they have studied at least .
mcmboms

Kumbaboy

McMboms,

You are entitled to want to read Mr. Lyonga's biography. That pursuit however is independent to this case. Ask yourself three basic questions and conjure some tunnel vision.

(1) Would German drug manufacturer Bioprap recruit an illiterate to represent its interest in Africa?

(2) Would Prof. Peter Ndumbe of CUSS test drugs from an uninformed salesman on his patients?

Drs. Fai Fominyen and Thompson Kinge are attempting to gain legitimacy by colluding with the four German nationals, to capitalize on Mr. Lyonga's difficulty in obtaining a drug license from Cameroon's Public Health Minister Urbain Olanguena (Mr. O'langa!) Awono.

Mr. O'langa Awono yearns for kick-backs which Mr. Lyonga rightly refuses to offer. The court should also restrain that sick mentality of France Afrique – the quest of “something for nothing”.

mcmboms

At least Rexon conjures with me.Mr. kumba boy seemd to be arguing without any cause.Bioprap can recruit any one provided the individual is capable of promoting their business.I know where I am coming from. If Mr.lyonga should just be honest to furnish us with his academic credentials(Its a pride for one to have degrees)then I have something very importnant to add to this ongoing saga to his advantage. Lets keep sentiments aside and deal with facts.

Kumbaboy

McMboms obsession with paper certificates or degrees is misleading and a premeditated distraction. BSC, MSC and PhD certificates can be sterile and very misleading on professional aptitudes and competences. Marketing a product has less to do with academics.

Mr. Lyonga's methodical approach underscores an educated mind that is attached to the truth, justice and the rule of law. Bioprap is a reputable German manufacturer - the company will NOT recruit anyone unqualified to do the job.

Manga

The article simply states that Mr. Lyonga studied in Germany. It does no say he went to medical school or that he even went to a university. So harping on this point is useless. He could very well have attended a 3-month computer course in Germany. That point is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Not being a medical expert, Mr. Lyonga did the right thing upon his return. He worked with Dr. ndumbe who happens to be one of the premier medical doctors in Cameroon and the dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Yaounde. Not only is Mr. Lyonga a smart business man, he also goes by the book. Education is not only about university degrees. It is about being able to successfully navigate the world we live in. On that score, Mr. Lyonga has a PhD.

Those who are now raising a storm, should do well to do a search on this site for "aurea cento" and they will have a clear understanding of what this case is all about.

rexon

Manga,

Thanks for the clarifications. At least, we can now reconcile our contrasting opinions on this issue. Education means different things to different people. In another sense, just his mere trip to Germany might be considered a form of informal education. Our concern was that a reasonable number of Africans/Cameroonians always claimed to have formally studied abroad which in most cases isn't true. Actions like that also must be condemned in all its forms as we have habitually condemned those who fake University degrees.

Kudos Mr Lyonga.

Kumbaboy

Let us be in context. If a guy fakes a university degree to gain employment and is actually doing the job with skill to the satisfaction of customers then we should have a sense of humor and ask the individual to examine his conscience and rectify the situation.

The problem with Cameroon is not that individuals are not degreed. Many Cameroonians have degrees but they are not doing their jobs well as expected of degreed minds. Many graduates from local schools in Yaounde are some of the hardest crooks in the civil service. They have evolved sophisticated systems to embezzle and steal in broad day light with relative impunity.

The methodical approach taken by Mr. Batiston Ikome Lyonga to address his difficulties is commendable. This legacy is an example to others and can only be taken for granted by those who believe in good luck. Lyonga indeed has earned a PhD in fortitude and ethics. Oh yes, Dr Lyonga.

Now compare Dr Lyonga with the Drs who colluded and violated professional ethics while trying to make fast money at Dr Lyonga's expense.

A degreed mind lacking in professional ethics amounts to certified empty vessels. These empty vessels can be arrogant and are the cankerworms sustaining corruption in Cameroon.

Watesih

Kumbaboy,
Your take on this issue has been commendable.The simple fact that Mr Lyonga secured this drug from the source points to the fact that he is not a Medical nonentity.
Most of the whistleblowers,businessmen in academic robes,and hardened criminals who have been making a fortune out of HIV/AIDS drugs have more often than not cheated their way into this world meant for professionals through dubious middlemen,what you may want to call feymen.Secondly ,the meticulous way Mr lyonga goes about this issue shows a very scientific mind.If he were not a medical mind,he wouldn`t have asked the venerated Prof. Peter Ndumbe,to test its effectiveness
.He would have sold off the rights,made some profit out of it and forgot about the sufferers of the disease.
If Prof.Peter Ndumbe is a master hand at that which is medical,so are Dr Faiforminyam
,and Thompson Kinge.So if Mr Lyonga got all these guns moving then he is a very focused individual.We should therefore stop playing down the seriousness of this issue,and the pain this industrious man have felt,by pretending to probe into his intellectual prowess.This is not the right time to pretend to trade supposed information,or knowledge we have about this saga for Mr
Lyonga`s credentials.If anybody is beating his chest to have an insight into this apparently exploitative routine from Mr O'langa (laughs) Awono,and his predatory collaborators,then he should rather keep the public abreast ,rather than making hollow suppositions.

Navigae

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am not a regular contributor to this forum, but I do enjoy it and feel the moral obligation to comment on this topic. This topic does not deserve logic as a foundation for discussion. I have spent several years on this topic in many African countries. Let me remind you about the facts:
1. 70% of the 28million cases of HIV cases are in Africa.
2. About 90% of the AIDS related deaths are in Africa.
3. The highest numbers of various drugs/concoctions/ immune boosters etc are in Africa; coming from Europe, India and China (most often not allowed in their own markets).
4. It goes without saying that, the highest counterfeit drugs are not manufactured but marketed in Africa.
5. Furthermore the weakest drug regulatory authorities are in Africa (excellent market for a quick buck by any fake manufacturer).
6. The highest number of deaths from drug toxicities, drug errors etc are in Africa.

In the US with a robust health system, if you combine deaths from medication errors, side effects and toxicities-medicine related fatalities will be amongst the first 6 killers in the US. Such a study has not been conducted; I dare to say it will be the #1 killer in Africa (plagued with the worst health care system in the world because of many obvious reasons beyond this discussion).
Cameroon is no exception; it may actually be the prototype!!

Now Back to the above, Lyonga/Fai/Minister of Health:
I have met Dr. Ndumbe in several international conferences and he is well respected and I suspect he is aware of the above problems.
 We do not have the entire transcript from professor Ndumbe on how effective is this drug as an immune booster, what are the precautions, what is it role in the national treatment guidelines i.e. can it be used together with current drugs on the national guidelines? How does it work as an immunobooster-antiviral properties? Etc.
 I do not think Lyonga has these answers either and yes contrary to some arguments he needs this knowledge in order to do more good to the patients than harm. He can own the business, but needs the educational background and training or find someone to speak about the products.
 The minister has the onus to protect the health of the public though I think the process is flawed because a national committee of experts (known in the country) should meet regularly and make such recommendations. The minister is not a medic but a politician. (Even if a medic, he still needs a technical committee).
 In this case, the minister may have had good intentions but there are several problems with public health in Cameroon and thus the population is vulnerable and at the mercy of street vendors of drugs, fly by night doctors etc.

We do not have most of the facts to debate this issue BUT I SMELL A RAT

Kumbaboy

The feedback from Navigae is informative. However, Navigae’s conclusions do not reconcile with facts as presented in the original and previous articles on this case.

This case is serious for Cameroon vis-à-vis overseas investors and the perception of indirect state-permitted lawlessness in the country. Intellectual property is in fact accorded the same protection as personal property in countries that submit to the rule of law.

Going back to this case, the journalist had concluded: “The drug, after being tested at the Yaoundé Teaching Hospital, CUSS, under the supervision of Prof. Peter Ndumbé, received a certificate of effectiveness attesting that the drug is a means of restoring and giving strength to the immune system of HIV/AIDS patients”.

Navigae’s conclusion surprisingly casts an aspersion on the above quote. Navigae instead seeks the full report – a tactical nuance to de-emphasis or doubt the “certificate of effectiveness”.

If the certificate of effectiveness is bogus, why then did Health Minister Mr. Urbain Olanguena (O’Langa!) Awono allow Dr. Edward Fai Fominyen Ngu, Dr. Thompson Kinge and their German partners; Gerd Ludwig and Uwe Westerwinter, to sell the same drug in Cameroon?

This clique has been permitted by Mr. O’Langa to profit on the sweat of Mr. Lyonga who in 1999 paid a 16m FCFA fee to the Cameroon Government to initiate clinical studies under the supervision of Professor Ndumbé.

Anyone doubting Dr Lyonga position on this issue should also read the legal opinions expressed in the article by Pegue Manga (http://www.postnewsline.com/2005/05/strongcourt_rul.html) about a previous court decision.

Another issue raised by Navigae is whether Mr. Lyonga has the knowledge to “speak about the product”. This is an unnecessary underestimation of Mr. Lyonga, which is also the weakest argument of his opponents. Only a smart mind like Lyonga’s will pay 16 FCFA to the Cameroon Government to have a medicinal product clinically tested under the supervision of the best professional mind (Professor Ndumbé) in the country. These are calculated decisions and not just some good luck.

Kumbaboy

In an earlier article, http://www.postnewsline.com/2005/05/stronggerman_na.html, Gerd Ludwig narrates a hilarious account of his business relationship with Ikome Lyonga. That may surprise many Cameroonians at home.

Cameroonian professionals overseas who work with the Ludwigs of this world can tell you the field is never level. It is not about racism at that level. Basically, the issue is that the Ludwigs always seek to cheat and take the Cameroonian for granted and on less reward for more work.

The strategy deployed by Herr Ledwig is familiar. It accords no recognition for the Cameroonian’s accomplishments and seeks to destroy him, thanks to unscrupulous collaborators like Thompson Kinge. Kinge is playing with fire.

I pray on Cameroonian courts to hold Herr Gerd Ludwig to respect his Cameroonian business counterpart Ikome Lyonga as if the letter hails from Bavaria, Germany.

Tekum Mbeng

With reference to the earlier report by Clovis Atatah & Nformi Sonde (http://www.postnewsline.com/2005/05/stronggerman_na.html), the Cameroonian public is not properly served by a one-sided account from Mr. Gerd Ludwig. Ludwig may be shocked by the Cameroonian business environment but he has not demonstrated any systematic impropriety by Mr. Ikome Lyonga.

Ludwig and partners need to moderate their position with reality. If Mr. Ludwig had wanted AUREA CENTO 100 tested and sold in the United States or Canada, for example, his company would have had to shell out millions of dollars to middle men and attorneys just to get a head start!

So far the money spent in Cameroon is very small change and provides no excuse for Mr Lugwig to breach a previous contract with Mr Ikome Lyonda without adequate compensation. Such bravado is not permitted in German courts and should not be permitted in Cameroonian courts.

It would appear that Ikome Lyonga may not have been paid by his German partners for working political connections and getting the drug introduced in Cameroon. This is normally a very expensive service in developed countries.

Navigae

Kumbaboy,
Thank you for the comments which I will take the opportunity to shade more light.
There are literally thousands of these supplements/drugs particularly in Africa and Cameroon in particular with such claims (HIV, Diabetes etc) because the population is very desperate and does not know any better.
I am saying it is the Minister of health's duty to protect the health of all Cameroonians in that triangle but he has failed many times over and this WELU-Cento 100 is a case in point; and there are hundreds more in the Cameroonian market. This should not be the prerogative of the minister-he does not have the expertise to do so. A standing technical committee should do this regularly then report to the minister with no fear or favor.
Prof. Ndumbe is well regarded, because he knows how to conduct drug trials, he knows about HIV management and I doubt the minister will go against his scientific results; thus I say we have inadequate information.
I am sure Mr. Lyonga meant well for himself and probably his countrymen; I am however addressing a policy issue here-he, Fai who is a herbalist, (do not know about kinge and the Germans) should not speak about a drug product when they do not have the expertise (we are not talking about coca cola)
In conclusion, the minister and MOH are the root cause of this problem. The general population is highly at risk and will continue to suffer.
You are probably aware that last year the Minister gave a go ahead on the testing of an HIV drug on prostitutes in Cameroon. The procedure was flawed and unethical but the concept was OK. It took only the international media for the Minister to halt the study. Oncemore taking matters, he knows little about into his hands.

I am using this case to address a bigger issue here. I do not really care if it is Lyonga, Fai, Kinge, the Germans and even the Minister; the patients are the losers.

Kumbaboy

Thanks Navigae for you feedback. There may be many such cases but it is crucial to treat every case on its specific merits.

The fact is that the Ministry of Health can point to a Centre for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases, CSCCD; specialized hospitals and a university center for health sciences manned by highly specialized personnel.

The opinion of these local experts matters. The CSCCD (a Govt agency) had within its remit issued a certificate of efficacy to Mr. Lyonga! This fact cannot be confused with concerns about broader policy matters which are not the cause of these law suits. Hence, Navigae’s argument adds to the debate by rightly indicting Mr Urbain Olanguena (O’Langa!) Awono but without addressing the attempted theft of intellectual property and breach of contract.

Bio-technology companies cannot function in an environment lacking protection for intellectual property. Breach of contract is a serious offence.

Muki StoneHall

Good arguments from both sides on this story.But you guys seem to have missed something(Or maybe I'm the one missing it!).
Both camps in the story seem to have carried out some shady deals.That the gov't of Cameroon refused to issue an authorisation to Mr Lyonga is questionable.
But then look at this:Mr Lyonga returned from Germany with his authorisation from BioPrap in 2001,but way back in June 1999 the former Prime Minister had reportly sent his encouragement to Mr Lyonga.Isn't that fishy also?Why was Mr Lyonga being encouraged by the Prime Minister way back in 1999?

Navigae

Muki and Kumbaboy,
There is a much bigger problem here which is really a reflection of Cameroon and the administration. People take advantage of the fact that humans will also make food and medicine a priority.
I work on this issue daily in several African countries. This is a huge and corrupt industry involving high level government officials in African countries. I am not surprised that in 1999 the PM was involved and the minister here is probably being shady. There is alot of monies involved at the peril of the population.
In Nigeria after top cardiac surgeons from the US came and performed surgery on delicate patients and lost almost all of them because the key drugs used after the surgery were all counterfeit; these drugs were brought into the country from India thru the complicity of some government officials. Last year they burnt over 10million dollars worth of drugs seized in one session and planning 20 times more seizures. The iron lady who is incharge, Dora, sent her entire family to the US because she has been shot at twice.
Sorry I am not addressing the specifics of this case but frankly speaking I need to go to the source-the System.
The Minister and several government officials in Cameroon, I highly suspect are the beneficiaries. Global Fund alone has given Cameroon a few hundreds Million dollars for HIV/AIDs. In the rural areas, I doubt if they feel a pinch of it.
Drug regulation in Cameroon is a mess by design!

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