14 Jun 2019

Vanuatu signs 25-year deal with controversial drug company

3:08 pm on 14 June 2019

A controversial drug company in Vanuatu has signed an agreement with the government for a 25-year diabetes management programme.

Phoenix Life in Vanuatu

Photo: Phoenix Life

The deal, signed last Tuesday, will also allow Phoenix Life International to market and export its diabetes-treating marijuana drug.

According to a release from Phoenix Life, it will create a national healthcare network in Vanuatu and produce medical cannabis products there.

The network will include community healthcare clinics and drug dispensaries which will provide the company's product.

Under the agreement, Phoenix Life plans to train medical professionals on the use of medical cannabis for treating type 2 diabetes.

The company has come under fire from Vanuatu's doctors' association, which claims the country isn't ready for human medical research.

"These programmes will be created in conjunction with leading universities and colleges from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and The Republic of Vanuatu," it said in a statement.

Phoenix Life last year gained approval to manufacture drugs in Vanuatu, and in March it broke ground on a clinic and pharmacy in Port Vila.

The company also disclosed in April that it was facing two legal disputes in Vanuatu over deposits due on proposed property purchases.

Phoenix Life said last week it also plans to make its diabetes-treating program available to governments and health agencies world-wide, especially in developing countries.

"This agreement is one of the core building blocks for our licensing, medical trials and the deployment of our strategy for launching programs to improve the treatment of type 2 diabetes and its complications on a global basis," said chief executive Martin Tindall.