Ghanaian pharmaceutical firm calls for establishment of national drug budget

Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DANADAMS Pharmaceuticals Company Limited, has suggested to the Ghana government to establish a national drug budget that would enable the nation to wean herself from donor support.

He said the current situation where the purchase of drugs depends on donor funds is inimical to the development and growth of local pharmaceuticals companies as donors tie conditionalities to the money they provide for drugs.

“In most cases, the donors compel government to purchase most drugs from foreign companies to the dereliction of local companies, though there is (local) capacity to produce similar drugs for the citizenry,” he added.

Dr Gyamfi who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the challenges of Pharmaceutical companies in the country, said most of the donor organisations owned pharmaceutical companies, where their clients are compelled to import their drugs.

He said his outfit, which is the only pharmaceutical company that produce HIV and AIDS drugs in the country had the capacity to produce 131 million tablets in a month and yet it is producing only 20 million due to lack of ready market.

Dr Gyamfi said in countries like South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda where there is a drug fund, 60 per cent of the local pharmaceutical companies produced most of their HIV and AIDS drugs thereby creating a job opportunities for their unemployed graduates.

The CEO also suggested to government to come out with a special levy on all Ghanaians that would serve as the seed money for the budget and to enable the country’s pharmaceutical companies to engage in hypertension, diabetes and asthma drug production.

He also appealed to the Executive to facilitate its bid to acquire World Health Organisation (WHO) pre-qualification certificate that would qualify the country to produce all prescribed HIV and AIDS drugs, which would be accessible and affordable.

Dr Gyamfi said although his company had adequate infrastructure, skilled personnel and the right processes of manufacturing drugs, which are the major criteria for acquiring WHO pre-qualification certificate, the organisation had failed to inspect their facilities, after several invitations.

“There is also the need for government to encourage collaboration between manufacturing industries and various universities to come out with useful research programmes that would encourage more students to embrace science courses,” he added.

He said it is pathetic that Ghana is still dependent on donor funds to purchase cancer and mental patient drugs.

Source: GNA

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