Pharmaceutical industry short of expertise…rely on experts from India, China

The pharmaceutical industry of Ghana currently relies on India and China to fill vacancies for pharmaceutical technologists and industrial pharmacists.

This, according to the Ghana Chamber of Pharmacy (GCP) is due to limited expertise in the sector.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber of Pharmacy, Mr Anthony Ameka who made the revelation was speaking at the opening of a two day conference on Ghana as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in Accra on Tuesday.

The event was organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) and Coloron in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Trade and Industry, Planning, GCP and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana.

The conference is on the theme: ‘Ghana as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub, the way forward for national development’.

It brought together stakeholders in the pharma-space to brainstorm on how to help grow the pharmaceutical industry of the country.

According to Mr Ameka, relying on other countries for pharmaceutical technologists was affecting the operations of pharmacists in the country and called on the government to implement measures that would address the problem and help the industry grow.

He stated that access to low interest funding was also another major constraint being encountered by operators to increase and improve capacity of pharmaceutical companies to operate effectively and compete favourably with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

“The pharmaceutical industry of Ghana currently operates under very challenging business environment with the attendant limitations on the efforts of operators to maximise the full potentials available in the pharmaceutical sector,” he lamented.

He said high transaction costs and time lost for bureaucratic procedures, limited transport infrastructure and administrative barriers were affecting export to neighbouring countries.

Mr Ameka assured that his outfit would not relent in its efforts to transform the pharmaceutical sector of the country with the help of good policies by the government.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu disclosed that the MOH and its agencies had over the years developed policies to support the growth of the local pharmaceutical industry.

Notable among them, he said, was the establishment of Drugs Industrial Support and Services Department to work with pharmaceutical manufacturers to build their capacity in attaining current good manufacturing practices.

He assured of the government’s readiness to engage with the relevant stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to steadily increase the competence of local manufacturers to become World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalified.

“This will place demand on their products globally and lead to the creation of more jobs and increase in skilled personnel for national development,” he added.

BY RAISSA SAMBOU

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