Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has called for sustained investment support in the pharmaceutical sector in the country.
He said Ghana would need investment financing and joint ventures to upgrade existing pharmaceutical plants to comply with international Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Standards.
Mr Kyeremanten made the call at the launch of COVID-19 Support Measures in collaboration with the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy in Accra, on the theme; “Supporting Industry Resilience for Sustained Production and Supply of Essential Medicines and Employment.”
The support aims at helping companies address vulnerabilities in the pharmaceutical supply chain and assisting local companies on COVID-19 prevention measures.
It was also to support advocacy efforts of the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy and accelerate development of local capacity for diagnostics and vaccine production platforms.
The Minister said in spite of the positive outlook for the development of the pharmaceutical sector, the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted ongoing activities aimed at supporting the industry with serious implications in the short, medium and longterm.
“It is against this background that government very much appreciates the UK COVID-19 gestures to the local Pharmaceutical Industry for, which purpose we are gathered here this afternoon,” he stated.
Mr Kyeremanten said such investments would ensure that the sector continued to operate at optimal capacity.
The initiative, supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) seeks to support the local pharmaceutical sector in Ghana with GH¢3,327,750 funding over a 12-month’s period.
He assured stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector of Government’s commitment to work collaboratively with industry players to make Ghana the new Pharmaceutical Hub for West Africa.
Mr Philip Smith, the FCDO Development Director, said with the impact of COVID-19, it had become imperative to work closely with Ghana, on building industrial capacity to both support the pandemic response as well as position it to achieve faster post COVID economic recovery.
He said it was for that reason that the UK was supporting the sector to help it contribute towards the production of essential medicines.
Mr Smith said the support also sought to ensure that the sector, which employed over 9000 people was able to manage COVID-19 shocks and maintain the much needed jobs.
“UK support is complementary to the Government of Ghana COVID-19 Stimulus Package for Businesses (the CAP programme),” he added.
Mr Harrison K. Abutiate, Chairman of the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy, noted that out of the GH¢3,327,750 funding, GH¢350,000 would be used as grants for selected and eligible local pharmaceutical companies on COVID-19 prevention measures, essential medicines production and the supply chain activities.
He expressed appreciation to the FCDO for assisting the Ministry and the Chamber in reviewing the draft Pharmaceutical Sector Development Strategy, advocacy for the establishment of vaccine production in Ghana and also conducting capacity audits and Standard Operating Procedures on social distancing in the Pharma sector.
written by Samuel Kwame Boadu