The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has made a clarion call on the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana to extend access to quality pharmaceutical services to the rural communities.
The Vice President was bemoaning the long distances persons in rural areas travel to get pharmaceutical services.
“This development impedes the objective of making healthcare delivery easily accessible to all Ghanaians, with ramifications for the attainment of the SDGs. I therefore appeal to the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and all relevant stakeholders to extend pharmaceutical services to the deprived areas or communities in the country.”
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was speaking at the maiden Ghana Pharma Awards held in Accra on Friday by the University of Ghana to recognize excellence and provide recognition throughout the entire supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry.
The Vice President has meanwhile commended the pharmaceutical society for their decision to reduce prices of medicines on the National Health Insurance Scheme list by 30%, and urged them to speed up with the process.
“It is believed that, this will help to ensure the financial sustainability of the Scheme and will also improve financial access to the citizenry,” he acknowledged.
Dr. Bawumia enumerated a number of policy measures by the Akufo-Addo-led government to help increase access to healthcare and essential medicines at affordable prices. This, he said, would also support the local pharmaceutical industry to strengthen their capacity to produce essential medicines at competitive prices.
He mentioned the removal of 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on some selected imported medicines that are not locally produced, in addition to an Executive Instrument that restricted 49 pharmaceutical products for local manufacturing in 2017.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bawumia has urged all players in the pharmaceutical sector to pull resources together to turn Ghana into a vibrant pharmaceutical research and development and production hub.
“It is about time we earmarked a zone within a suitable location to be developed into an industrial park exclusively for pharmaceutical industries. This will lead to a generation of modern pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities which would be in most competitive position to meet all current international Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards including the WHO-Prequalification standards and to produce high quality affordable medicines not only for local consumption, but also for export into the world market.
“Government is currently looking at the Ghana Pharmaceutical Sector Development Strategy document and will consider the proposal to set up a National Bio-equivalence Centre in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and other stakeholders. ”
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