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President Akufo-Addo inaugurates pharmaceutical factory at Lakpleku - Under 1D1F initiative

BY: Benjamin Glover & Kweku Zurek
President Akufo-Addo inaugurates pharmaceutical factory at Lakpleku - Under 1D1F initiative
President Akufo-Addo inaugurates pharmaceutical factory at Lakpleku - Under 1D1F initiative

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has inaugurated the Atlantic Lifesciences Limited, the biggest manufacturing unit for intra-veinous (IV) fluids in West Africa.

The company located at Lakpleku near Old Ningo in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region, is operating under the government’s 1-District 1-Factory (1D1F).

It is the 107th factory completed and operational under the 1D1F initiative out of the 278 enterprises being established and rehabilitated across the country.

The US$35 million state of the art facility financed by Ghana EXIM Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and the company’s own equity, is a specialized factory with a sterile pharmaceutical plant for Infusions, Eye drops, Vaccines/Sera, Injections, and General Anesthesia drugs.

Atlantic Lifesciences Ltd is a sister company of Pharmanova Ltd and are into the production of inhalation anaesthetics, eye, ear, and nasal drops as well as vaccines and antiserum.

Their range of infusions includes Metronidazole injection (NOVAGYL), Paracetamol infusion (NOVAMOL), Ciprofloxacin injection (NOVACIP), Ofloxacin infusion (NOVAFLOX) and Levofloxacin infusion (LEVOXIN)

The organisation, also operates a modern filling-line compliant to current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) in the sub-region

Currently, the company employs 400 direct workers which would increase to 800 when fully operational; including specialists in Biochemists, Microbiologists, Pharmacists, Chemists, and Lab Technicians, among others

Concrete manifestation

Inaugurating the factory, President Akufo-Addo said the establishment of the factory was a concrete manifestation of a new paradigm of economic development which government was vigorously persuing to promote value addition and industrial activity within a conducive and business friendly environment.

He said the facility was a further fulfilment of the strides by the government in partnership with the private sector to set up at least one medium to large scale enterprise in every district in Ghana.

According to the President, while previous attempts of rural economic revitalisation in Ghana had focused mainly on the provision of physical infrastructural facilities, the 1D1F programme of his administration was focused on the provision and promotion of commercially viable business ventures to generate a sustainable and accelerated economic development in rural communities.

He said the 1D1F will additionally address the challenge of widespread poverty and underdevelopment among rural and periurban communities through the establishment of an institutional framework that will attract private sector investment and rural economic activities, create jobs and raise income levels.

President Akufo-Addo said the Ministry of Trade and Industry has identified the pharmaceutical sector as one of the strategic sectors under the Ghana CARES Obaatampa Programme in the post COVID-19 recovery policy to facilitate the revitalisation of the national economy and indicated that the programme will impact the much needed capital needed to enhance the productive capacity of pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of the regional and and continental markets persuant to the integration franewort of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme and the ACFTA framework.

He said the transformation of the Ghana economy from one of production and export of raw materials to industrially value added economy remained one of the central priorities of government and this will require among other things a vibrant investment climate and a robust regulation and incentive regime to support private investment in these strategic sectors hence the commitment of the government towards the successful implementation of programmes such as 1D1F , establishment of industrial parks and small, medium and large scale enterprises across the country.

import substitution

The Minister of Trade and Industry Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen disclosed that at the end of December 2021, 11 out of 13 pharmaceutical companies under the 1D1F programme have received support to the time of GH c 415.3 million for expansion, retooling, working capital and to build new manufacturing facilities in the country.

He said once there is evidence of enhanced local manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical industry, it would provide the basis for Ghana as a matter of policy to be able to restrict the importation of pharmaceutical products that can be produced locally.

Collaboration

The Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah said the establishment of the facility fell within government's vision of securing the much needed vaccines through the domestic vaccine development in the short, medium to the long term adding that the Ministry was looking forward to collaborating with Atlantic Lifesciences Limited in the area of local development of vaccines and antiserum.

Appeal

The Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Lifesciences Limited, Mr. Dhananjay Tripathi, in his welcoming address said the vision of the company was to provide international quality drugs locally at affordable prices to meet the medical needs of Ghanaians and people in West Africa, create employment locally and lend support to the Ghana Beyond Aid policy.

He said the inauguration of Atlantic Lifesciences Limited beings to five, the number of local infusion manufacturing firms operating in Ghana with a combined annual capacity of 133 million bottles.

Mr Tripathi said with Ghana's annual infusion requirement standing at 25 millon bottles, he appealed to the government through the Ministry of Health to consider the restricttion of importation of infusions into the country to support these companies from competing with substandard and fake infusion imports.

Utility Services

The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George commended the government for attracting investors to the area and appealed to government to enhance the supply of electricity and water services to the Ningo Prampram District, which is gradually becoming the hub of industries bin the Greater Accra Region to enable them produce at optimum capacity.