Ghana to partner local firm in anti-retroviral drugs production
Government of Ghana would soon partner DANADAMS Pharmaceutical Company, a local drug maker, to stimulate effective local production of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs in the country, Mr Alban Bagbin, Minister of Health said in Accra.
He said this would help the country to stop the perennial importation of the drugs from developed countries.
Mr Bagbin announced these during a familiarisation tour of the company to find out how the drugs were produced on Wednesday.
He said:“ The Ministry of Health will hold talks with DANADAMS Pharmaceutical company to know what percentage should be given out from the GHC150 million pledged by Government to drastically reduce infection of HIV and AIDS within five years.”
The company, which started operation in Ghana in 2005 with a few anti-retroviral drugs, could now boast of 42 different drugs, including malaria and general pain killers.
Apart from periodically supplying the Ministry and partners with the anti-retroviral drugs, the company also exports its products to Togo, Burkina Faso, La Cote d’Ivoire and the Gambia.
After the tour, Mr Bagbin said: “As a highly innovative company, DANADAMS demonstrates that being a medium-sized company and attaining world leadership, is in fact compatible. And with its seven years in operation, it has shown, too, that it knows how to overcome economic crises and even use them as an opportunity”.
Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, Chief Executive Officer of DANADAMS Pharmaceuticals, said the company was committed to working to become the number one leader in quality regional healthcare, with the largest product portfolio and biggest market share in the world.
He said it was important for Government to create an avenue for public private partnership to boost skills in the local pharmaceutical industry for national development.
Dr Gyamfi said in some African countries, ARV drugs contracts were given to local pharmaceutical companies for production, to generate more revenue and jobs for the country.
He said the company had not been able to win more international contracts because it had not yet acquired the World Health Organisation pre-qualification certificate to supply the drugs to other African countries.
Dr Gyamfi appealed to Government to facilitate acquisition of the certificate to enable Ghana to become the hub in the production of HIV and AIDS retroviral drugs.
He mentioned challenges facing local pharmaceutical companies, as people’s negative perception of local drugs, lack of commitment from the Ministry of Health to purchase local ARVs, high taxation for raw materials used in ARV production and exclusion from global fund tendering.
Dr Gyamfi asked Government to remove taxes and levies on raw materials to reduce high cost of production that could be passed on to patients.
He appealed to the Ministry to pre-finance 80 per cent of contracts that had already been awarded to the company.