Local Pharmaceutical Companies Threatened

1 09 2011

The local pharmaceutical companies are being challenged with cheaper and easier to get drugs. As you know, these are hurting consumers who use the substandard drugs and they are hurting store clerks who have to compete with prices.

Dr. Mensah Otabil, in an interview with B&FT said the biggest problem facing the pharmaceutical industry is the influx of illegal pharmaceutical products and the cost of imported raw materials, exacerbated by high taxes. Mose of their pharmaceutials in Ghana are imported from other countries, like India. This leaves the country vulnerable.

It is said that 40% of the pharmaceutical products on the market are of good quality while 60% are sub-standard (Below the usual or required standard). Even banning or limiting imported products appears difficult, according to the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), because companies cannot meet the demand on a consistent basis due to their capacity. Mr. Amedzro said that “Antibiotics are the largest prescribed medication on the books of the Ghana Health Service. A ban cannot be placed on such important medication. After an audit of supply-lines of local pharmaceutical companies, it was realised that they cannot meet the demand on a consistent basis.”

Mr. Kwasi Yirenkyi, CEO of Starwin, said the problem of illegal drugs, cost of raw materials, and high cost of credit to the sector is making it difficult for local companies to increase their capacity and be competitive.

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