Local production of COVID-19 treatment drugs: Eximbank, TOBINCO strike $5m deal …for large scale manufacture of Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin

The EXIMBANK Ghana is set to advance a US$5m facility to Entrance Pharmaceuticals and Research Centre, a subsidiary of the TOBINCO Group of Companies, for mass production of two COVID-19 treatment drugs.

The drugs, Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, aids speedy recovery of COVID patients, but are not produced locally on the large scale even though their value continues to rise on the international market due to their potency.

The partnership, which would help increase treatment of patients in the country, came to light when EXIMBANK’s board credit subcommittee members toured Entrance Pharmaceuticals, at Spintex, in Accra recently.

The tour of one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the sub-region was part of a routine exercise that the team undertakes to observe how well EXIMBANK clients or beneficiaries of its facilities are faring.

The credit subcommittee, including the Board Chairman of EXIMBANK, Mr Kwadwo Boateng Gyamfi, was amazed at the level of investment at the facility and further observed that the company had huge additional space to further expand operations.

The team was also impressed with TOBINCO Group’s utilisation of previous grant facility extended to the group, inspiring the bank’s readiness to advance the new facility to help tackle the pandemic in the country.

According toEXIMBANK an evaluation of Entrance Pharmaceuticals’ previous facility was convincing and that once another support was extended to the group, the local economy would further be boosted through job creation and enhance exports.

In the view of the bank, the eight per cent interest rate being offered to the company, on the grant facility, would further reduce the prices of locally manufactured quality drugs, and make it affordable to the ordinary Ghanaian.

EXIMBANK plays a major role as a partner of Ghanaian industries, especially Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), in their export efforts, by offering products and services at all stages of the production.

It has also been instrumental in the growth of the distribution cycle, including import of technology, export of products, developing exports, production, marketing, pre-and post-shipment.

In line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of industrialising the economy and supporting local businesses, the EXIMBANK identified 10 areas of the economy to extend support in order to drive this agenda.

These areas include pharmaceuticals, poultry, agro processing and business, garment and textiles industry, film and entertainment, palm oil production, Green House Project and cashew and shea butter production.

The objectives of these thematic areas are to generate employment and increase export whereas in the pharmaceuticals sector, the banks aims to support companies to scale up manufacturing, production and distribution of drugs.

Entrance Pharmaceuticals has been producing and exporting quality medicines to the sub-region over the years through the Freezones regime, producing quality and efficacious drugs in the sub-region.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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