The government has been called on to deliberately pursue policies and programmes aimed at restricting the importation of antimalaria drugs into Ghana to save the local pharmaceutical industry.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tobinco Pharmaceutical Group of Companies, Mr Samuel Amo Tobbin, who made the call, said 70 per cent of pharmaceutical drugs were imported leaving only 30 per cent for the local producers.
"When you enter any pharmaceutical shop, only three out of 10 products are locally produced. There are more imported drugs on the shelves than what we produce in Ghana. This is not a good development for the sector," he said
He was speaking at the launch of the second edition of "Entrance Month,” an initiative of Entrance Pharmaceuticals and Research Centre, a pharmaceutical manufacturing subsidiary of the Tobinco Group, aimed at promoting patronage of made in Ghana pharmaceutical products.
Mr Tobbin said restricting imported anti-malaria drugs would boost the local pharmaceutical industry as there were currently over 50 local pharmaceutical manufacturers with the capacity to meet the local demand.
"Restricting the import of antimalaria drugs will also save the state a lot of foreign exchange," he said.
Answering questions from journalists about concerns of the public on the low quality of locally produced drugs, he said it was a wrong perception.
He explained that locally produced drugs were of high quality standards as they were subjected to scrutiny by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), adding that they also met the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) guidelines.
Mr Tobbin said the Entrance Pharmaceutical and Research Centre was ISO 90001:2015 certified and had 18 foreign clients in the West African region.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, gave an assurance that the government was committed to rolling out policies and programmes aimed at helping indigenous Ghanaian companies such as Entrance Pharmaceuticals and Research Centre to expand their operations.
Mr Quartey said the operations of Entrance, which employed over 800 staff and produced more than 100 different medications, contributed to the Ghanaian economy by reducing imports of pharmaceutical products, sourcing raw materials and packaging materials locally.
The Managing Director of Entrance Pharmaceuticals, Mr Kwadwo Asare Twerefour, said this year's Entrance Month, which was marked annually between June and July, was dedicated towards ending malaria in Ghana.
The Entrance Month was instituted to create awareness on the quality and affordability of made in Ghana pharmaceutical products, particularly products of the company.
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