In a bid to address concerns surrounding the government’s agenda to promote local pharmaceutical manufacturing, the Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association of Ghana has submitted a petition to the Ministry of Health (MOH) regarding the proposed restriction of approximately 142 medicines from importation.
Speaking on behalf of the Association, Pharm Audrey Serwaa Bonu, CEO of Chamber of Pharmacists, emphasized the need for broader stakeholder engagement in shaping the scope and timeline of such restrictions.
“The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Wholesaler Association and the Ministry of Health feel that there should be a restriction, because of the government’s agenda to make Ghana a manufacturing hub, and we are saying that the approach is what we are questioning. And we want more broader stakeholder’s engagement with regard to the scope of the medicine and also the timeline involved,” she said in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show on February 9.
For his part, Faisal Bella Djibrilla Esq, a legal consultant of the Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association of Ghana highlighted on the challenge faced by the Association.
“The challenge basically has to do with the fact that the list that is sought to be restricted, has not gone through the requisite regulatory checks to be sure that the industries and pharmaceuticals manufacturers that we have, have the capacity to be able to deliver and meet the national needs,” he explained.
Highlighting the Association’s ongoing advocacy efforts, Djibrila emphasized the necessity of establishing a dedicated financial institution to support the pharmaceutical sector.
“Even importers have to compete with other sectors for finance. So, you walk into any of the commercial banks, there are no exceptions, so if you cannot meet their requirements by way of interest rate then you cannot apply. And the interests are always the same, we are all paying the same. And that is why the Association through the Chamber has been drumming and making noise that we need a dedicated financial institution to support the pharma sector” Djibrila added.
By Joselyn Kafui Nyadzi