Veep assures pharmaceutical industry of government’s support

BY: Tim Dzamboe
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia (middle) with executives of the PSG
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia (middle) with executives of the PSG

Vice-President Mahamadu Bawumia has extolled the pharmaceutical industry in the country for its immense contribution to national development.

He said the value chain generated in the industry could not be ignored, hence the response by the government to apply interventions to cushion the industry to enable it to deliver to boost health delivery in the country.

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Dr Bawumia was addressing the 83rd Annual General Meeting of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG) held in Ho last Wednesday.

It was on the theme: “ Building capacity to lead in change in healthcare”.

Drones


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He said the use of drones to supply critical medicines to inaccessible areas would come into force by the end of the year and that it would be sponsored by corporate entities under their social responsibility to society.

The Vice-President said the government had earmarked a zone for an exclusive industrial park for the operation of the pharmaceutical sector, with the view to bringing the sector to international standards and to be noted for best practices.

He urged pharmacists to operate conscientiously by making themselves felt in the communities.

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He further called on the PSG to step up education on the misuse of Tramadol, adding that the government would continue to implement policies in favour of the industry, including the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on some selected imported drugs, as well as the removal of trade barriers in the West African sub-region.

Pharmaceutical industry In an address read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the government had opened an avenue of credit for the pharmaceutical industry with the EXIM Bank Ghana.

He said the prices of medicines prescribed for the National Health Insurance Scheme had been reviewed, adding that some of the prices had been reduced.

He announced that the first batch of scholars for the Ph.D in Pharmacy programme had passed out and were due for housemanship.

He called on all receptive institutions to accord them due cordial relationship to enable them to discharge their knowledge, skills and competencies.

Practice guidelines

The minister also launched the standard of practice guidelines at the event and urged practitioners to operate in accordance with the guidelines.

Delivering his address, the thematic speaker, Professor Anthony Wutoh, said the challenge facing the modern pharmacist was how to operate patient-centred care.

He said drugs were dangerous and expensive and so they must be handled specifically because the DNA of every person had a specific response to drugs.

The President of the PSG, Mr Frank Ben Botwe, said the event was a special landmark to develop and renew the vision of the association to map out new ways of engagement with society.

He called for financial clearance for the employment of newly trained pharmacists to fill the void left by more than 200 pharmacists who had exited the public sector.