Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), on Monday inaugurated a joint-committee to supervise the establishment of an Anti-retroviral Drug Manufacturing Plant and its associated research and training centre in Ghana.
The nine-member committee would be chaired by Dr Alex Dodoo, President, International Society of Pharmacovigilance, United Kingdom (UK).
Ms Ayittey in an address explained that the initiative was a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) venture between Oxford International Biomedical Centre, a UK based charity in the United Kingdom (OIBC) and the Government of Ghana.
The Partnership is to ensure the local manufacturing of drugs such as anti-retroviral and anti-malaria drugs among others which are often imported.
She said with the establishment of the Plant, Ghana would saved millions of dollars often spent on such importations and would also prevent the dumping of fake ones.
Ms Ayittey also mentioned other benefits under the project as the construction of a training Institute in Ghana to ensure capacity building, ensure technology transfer, employment generation and ensure constant drug supply to Ghanaians.
She explained the project initiation as one of the several collaborations that MEST was carrying out with other Ministries, to ensure the application of science and technology to promote and support medical research and development, which features prominently in the National Science and Technology and Innovation Policy.
She urged members of the Committee to be zealous in their deliberations in order to come out with good recommendations for the establishment of the anti-retroviral drug centre.
Mr Charles Pasternak, President, OIBC, said the organisation had the experience to design, build and operate that type of manufacturing facility in Ghana.
He indicated that with appropriate funding, the facility could be operational in two years to extend the socio-economic advancement of science and technology beyond Ghana.
Dr Dodoo pledged to put knowledge and resources of members together to enhance the duties assigned to the committee.