The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has urged Government to expand the list of banned foreign manufactured drugs imported into the country.
Currently, government has placed a restriction on the importation of some 49 foreign manufactured drugs into Ghana.
But according to the Society, there is still a wide range of medicines which are imported regardless of the manufacturing prowess of the local manufacturing companies and as such, “require an expansion of the list.”
Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Pharm.Yvonne Esseku, who made the call at the national launch of 2019 World Pharmacists Day, said the expansion of the list will help the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry thrive.
“We urge Government to consider the list to other molecules and some essential medicines with particular emphasis on generic medicines for which more than 5 local manufacturers have the capacity to produce,” she noted.
Pharm. Esseku stated “we hold that these restrictions will increase the market size for local manufacturers, improve local manufacturing capability and capacity, and reduce the exchange rate pressure on the local currency and protect domestic health and safety.”
Meanwhile, to ensure the long-term security of making medicines available and accessible to Ghanaians, the PSGH Vice President indicated that there was the need to strategically invest in the local pharmaceutical manufacturing space.
“We live in a competitive market where every business is allowed to thrive; however, we recognize the need for government to continue a deliberate national policy to promote local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals,” she added.
Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander K. Abban, said globally, the traditional role of pharmacists has shifted from product oriented to patient-centred and as such pharmacists all over the world are now recognized for playing important roles in reducing patient medication errors and the Ghanaian pharmacist is no exception.
According to him, pharmacists have very important to play in addressing some very disturbing evolving threats like antimicrobial resistance, the menace of fake and substandard medicines, substance abuse, among others.
He said this year’s World Pharmacists Day theme; ‘Safe and Effective Medicines For All’ resonates with the Ministry’s objective of ensuring access to safe and effective medicines as part of the overall strategy of achieving Universal Health Coverage, (UHC).