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Local pharmacy industry asks for goverment help

BY: Gabriel Ahiabor
From left: Mr Ravi Uday Bhaskar, Mr Dhananjay Trpathi, Managing Director of Pharmanova Ghana Limited; Ms Lakshmi Prasanna, Senior Regulatory Affairs Officer of Pharmexcil; and Mrs Roja Rani, Special Aid at the Pharmexcil, after the meeting
From left: Mr Ravi Uday Bhaskar, Mr Dhananjay Trpathi, Managing Director of Pharmanova Ghana Limited; Ms Lakshmi Prasanna, Senior Regulatory Affairs Officer of Pharmexcil; and Mrs Roja Rani, Special Aid at the Pharmexcil, after the meeting

The Chairman of the Chamber of Pharmacy, Ghana, Mr Harrison Kofi Abutiate, has urged the Ghana government to take a cue from the India government by supporting the local pharmacy industry.

He said the government must create a pharma park which would have structures like quality control office, warehousing facilities, laboratories, fire and police stations, internal revenue offices, banks and insurance companies to attract investors to come and do business in Ghana.

He said the Indian pharmaceutical sector was doing well because the government had identified it as important and had supported the industry by providing equipment and raw materials, and giving loans to those operating in the sector.

Mr Kofi Abutiate, who led a group of Ghanaian pharmacists to India for the pharma expo 2019, advised the Ghana Pharmaceutical Association to come together to bargain for the issues that would improve the local pharmaceutical value chain for cheaper and better price.

“By so doing the economy of scale will reduce for us to produce at lower and affordable prices, and be able to compete in the international market,” he said.

Over 350 pharmacy exhibitors and 700 overseas buyers sponsored by the Indian government attended the just-ended pharma expo 2019 at the Gujarat state of India.

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Regulatory and confidence in produce

Throughout the fair, the Indians complained about the Ghanaian regulatory system with regard to the registration of their products.

But Mr Emmanuel Yaw Kwarteng, a Chief Regulatory Officer, who represented the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), explained that Ghana’s regulatory procedures were not cumbersome but fairly strengthened around regulatory regimes similar to systems in the United State and the United Kingdom.

He said the FDA was in the process of reviewing its fees and charges to make registration and other charges manageable.

Affordable products

The Director General of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (PHARMEXCIL), Mr Ravi Uday Bhaskar, appealed to drugs and pharmaceutical industries in India to produce medicines and healthcare facilities for life threatening diseases at affordable prices for the poor and developing countries.

He said India’s pharma industry exported over US$19.15 billion out of which more than 50 per cent were exported to highly regulated markets across the world.

He said PHARMEXIL would continue to create the conducive environment for manufacturers and exporters of India to produce quality and affordable medicine to the rest of the world and Africa, in particular.

Mr Bharat Desai, the Managing Director of Bharat Parenterals Limited, who had over 50 pharmaceutical products registered in Ghana, said India was exporting 33 per cent of pharma products to the United States regulatory market and between18 and 20 per cent to the Africa market.