Pharmaceutical companies need support for local drug manufacturing


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Stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry have called on the government to provide basic infrastructure and incentives for pharmaceutical companies to locally produce drugs and other pharmaceuticals.

They said there should be a reasonable interest rate between 10 and 12% per annum for pharmaceutical entrepreneurs who wish to set up manufacturing plants, a dedicated shipping line and a railway to facilitate the distribution of pharmaceuticals. pharmaceuticals in the West African sub-region.

They said that 70% of the pharmaceuticals used in the country were imported and only 30% were produced locally, noting that Ghana’s quest to become a pharmaceutical hub in West Africa could only be realized if infrastructure and appropriate governance structures were not in place.

Mr. William Adum Addo, President of the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers, in his contribution to a panel discussion on the theme: “Opportunities and Gaps in the Pharmaceutical Sector in Ghana” at the West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Exhibition in Accra, said Ghana’s annual import of pharmaceuticals ranged between five million and $600 million and was expected to increase due to population growth.

Mr. Addo, also Managing Director of JM Addo and Sons Limited, said Ghana was an emerging market for pharmaceuticals in the sub-region, but there should be conscious efforts to encourage more pharmaceutical entrepreneurs. to enter the business.

Mr. Kwadwo Asare Twerefour, Managing Director of Entrance Pharmaceuticals, a member of the Tobinco Group of Companies, in his contribution to the discussion, said that it takes about 12 weeks to import drugs and other pharmaceuticals and added his call for local manufacturing. of drugs.

He, however, lamented the 24% interest rate charged by some banks on loans as a major hurdle and called for a reduction to encourage entrepreneurs to enter pharmaceutical manufacturing domestically.

Mr. Daniel Appiah, Head of Corporate and SME Banking at CalBank, in his contribution said that most of the healthcare institutions in the country are not well prepared in terms of financial aspect to run their institutions.

“There are poor accounting practices, no well-defined structure to run the healthcare facility,” he said.

“Most of the time, the CEO or the founder of the healthcare institution acts as an accountant, a marketing manager, a purchasing manager, and there is no successive plan on the ownership of the institution”, Mr. Appiah noted.

Mr Appiah said that without a well-structured governance system, it would be easier for banks or financial institutions to lend to them.

He said that although the Bank allocated funds to support health facilities, all applicants were expected to meet the requirements, which most private health facilities applying failed.

Mr. Appiah stressed the need for all private healthcare institutions to institute well-structured governance structures, a business plan and a succession plan on ownership to enable them to obtain financial support.

Mr. Thomas James, Project Director of West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Exhibition, said that in every gap or challenge there were opportunities to profit and support humanity, and urged pharmaceutical companies, exhibitors and participants to benefit from it and make society a better society. place.

Source: GNA

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