South African pharmaceutical maker Aspen could provide 10 million dexamethasone tablets within a month, CEO Stephen Saad told Reuters on Tuesday.

“Aspen has looked at the short-term needs and can provide 10 million tablets in the next 3 to 4 weeks. We would look to ramp up further should there be a need for additional product,” Saad said, without saying how much of the drug the company was currently producing.

Results from a trial showed dexamethasone reduced death rates by around a third compared with a placebo in severely ill hospitalised COVID-19 patients, scientists at University of Oxford said last week, calling the discovery a “major breakthrough”.

The 60-year-old drug dexamethasone has been found to be able to save the lives of COVID-19 patients, scientists at University of Oxford said last week, calling the discovery a “major breakthrough.”

Aspen, South Africa’s biggest supplier of drugs with a market share of 22% in sub-Saharan Africa, manufactures both the injectable and tablet forms of the drug, mainly used for treatment of tumours, asthma and other respiratory ailments.