The Panelists during the discussion session noted that the unstable Ghanaian currency and delayed payments to pharmacies, particularly by government facilities, are crippling the pharmaceutical industry.
The continued by saying that members of the Chamber had extended credits to local distributors, clinics, hospitals, and other health facilities but the delay in payment was worrying.
Other factors exacerbating their plight are the high-interest rates and increased benchmark values.
The President of Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers’ Association (PIWA), Mr. William A. Addo also added that, “The current developments had eroded our finances and business survival….and with the other challenges, the situation does not help in production, planning, and pricing of medicines in Ghana.”
The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana’s (PMAG) Secretary, Mrs. Lucia Addae adding her voice said that the situation necessitated the Chamber’s decision to return to the ‘Cash & Carry’ method recently.
Pharm Harrison K. Abutiate, Chairman of Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy (GNCoP) in his opening speech added that action should be expedited on the Dawa Industrial Zone project, a 150-acre land to be developed into a Pharma Park, where the production of various pharmaceutical products would be undertaken by various entities under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
Hon. Michael Okyere Baafi, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, said the Government took a keen interest in the operations of the pharmaceutical industry and was developing a policy to attract investments into the business. It had already given out US$ 415 million as loans through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
“We are only doing about 30 percent of the whole demand of the Pharmaceutical businesses in Ghana, and summits like this can spur collaboration and investments to bridge the gap,” he said.
HE. Sugandh Rajaram, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, said Indian businesses were ready for opportunities to partner with their Ghanaian counterparts to explore the pharma trade.
Export from India to Ghana in 2022 was about US$ 200 million, he said. HE. Rajaram said it was time the local pharmaceutical companies worked with Indian businesses to ensure value addition.