President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated government’s resolve to develop the nation’s pharmaceutical industry into a world-class manufacturing sector.
He said government aimed at a 60 per cent local production of needed medicines when interventions such as flexible long-term loan facilities and “unhindered access” to markets in the ECOWAS sub-region had been installed.
President Akufo-Addo said an industrial park to competitively develop the sector up to international standards was being considered with a directive to the Ministry of Health on the procurement of locally made pharmaceutical products.
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This was contained in a speech read on behalf of the President by the Vice President Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia at the 83rd Annual General Meeting of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) in Ho, on the theme “Building Capacity to lead Change in Healthcare”.
President Akufo-Addo said the country’s pharmaceutical potentials were huge and could help develop a leading market in West Africa.
“With the right pharmaceutical ecosystem, we can attract many research based pharma companies around the world which are looking to establish plants in Africa.
â€œThese would help create employment for many, and also help deepen our research skills and capabilities as a people and change the nature of our economy significantly,” he stated.
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The President said the National Health Insurance Scheme would be fixed, with advancements such as drone delivery of medical supplies to be introduced by the end of the year for an effective health system.
He called on pharmacists to consider their “crucial” roles and “lead pharmaceutical care on the healthcare delivery team”.
Mr Benjamin Botwe, President of the PSGH, thanked the President for recognising the role of the industry and said, “Pharmacists will be available to you and to serve in any capacity to ensure that we achieve our collective national objectives”.
Mr Botwe said the PSGH was “strategically positioned and well prepared” to support government develop the sector and urged the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Sector Development Strategy document.
He therefore appealed for the appointment of a development executive at the National Development Planning Commission exclusively for the project.
Mr Botwe asked professionals in the industry to work towards improving the health of the people, and called on the Pharmacy Council to “crack the whip on illegalities within the pharmacy space”.
He said its Pharmacy Centre project in Accra needed support, with others such as the model pharmacy concept and the pensions fund as priorities requiring the mandate of stakeholders.
He made an appeal to government to absorb more pharmacists into the public health sector, and urged all professionals to take advantage of skills training programmes.
The AGM kicked off with a health outreach at Tanyigbe in the Ho Municipality, where hundreds were diagnosed for common health conditions including Malaria, upper respiratory tract infections and anaemia.
Over GHÂ¢60,000 worth of drugs were also distributed.
President Akufo-Addo was awarded an honorary fellow of the Society for his efforts at transforming the nation’s economy.
The Vice President opened a product exhibition by over 30 pharma companies.
A business forum, variety entertainment, and tour of the Afadzato Mountain and Wli waterfalls formed part of activities of the weeklong meeting being held in Volta for the first time.