Unstable currency, delayed payments crippling pharmaceutical industry – Abutiate

Harrison Abutiate

Mr Harrison Abutiate, the Chairman of the National Executive Committee, Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy, says the unstable Ghanaian currency and delayed payments to pharmacies, particularly by government facilities, are crippling the pharmaceutical industry.

He said members of the Chamber had extended credits to local distributors, clinics, hospitals and other health facilities but the delay in payment was worrying. 

Other factors exacerbating their plight is the high interest rates and increased benchmark values.

Mr Abutiate said this at the India-Ghana Pharma Business Summit, dubbed; “Managing the Economic Challenges in Pharma Business in Ghana,” which brought together the value-chain industry players to discuss areas of collaboration in both countries. 

“The current developments had eroded our finances and business survival….and with the other challenges, the situation does not help in production, planning and pricing of medicines in Ghana,” he said.

Mr Abutiate said the situation necessitated the Chamber’s decision to return to the ‘Cash & Carry’ method recently. 

He said action should be expedited on the Dawa Industrial Zone project, a 150-acre land to be developed into a Pharma park, where the production of various pharmaceutical products would be undertaken by various entities under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

Mr Micheal Okyere Baafi, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, said the Government took keen interest in the operations of the pharmaceutical industry and was developing a policy to attract investments into the business.

It had already given out $415 million as loans through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs). 

“We are only doing about 30 per cent of the whole demand of the Pharmaceutical businesses in Ghana, and summits like this can spur collaboration and investments to bridge the gap,” he said. 

Mr Sugandh Rajaram, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, said Indian businesses were ready for opportunities to partner with their Ghanaian counterparts to explore the pharma trade. 

Export from India to Ghana in 2022 was about $200 million, he said.

Mr Rajaram said it was time the local pharmaceutical companies worked with Indian businesses to ensure value addition.  

Source: GNA

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