Pharmaceutical Watch project launched

The Chamber of Pharmacy on Wednesday October 10, 2018, launched the “Pharmaceutical Watch” project at the Coconut Grove Regency hotel in Accra.

According to the chairman of the Chamber, Harrison Abutiate, the 18 months project, funded by STAR Ghana, seeks to throw spotlight on the supply chain system within the entire pharmaceutical sector to ensure that all stakeholders operate under the ambit of transparency, equity, professionalism and real value for money.

“I am told that about 2 billion people worldwide, infact more than 80 percent of them in low -income countries, have inadequate or no access to essential medicines and vaccines, and many have substantial difficulty paying for medical care”. He noted.

Abutiate in his welcome address drew the attention of all stakeholders to the critical issues that adversely affect the ability of the members of the Chamber to meet it’s objectives.

“A major issue in this direction is the high cost of registration of pharmaceutical products, inspection fees and timelines for completion of registration of pharmaceutical products “.

Explaining further the Chairman stated that, the current registration fee for allopathic medicines in Ghana which is pegged at $3,600 and inspection fee of $20,000.00 is the highest on the African continent.

“The effects of the high fee is that the pharmaceutical sector finds it extremely difficult to meet their regulatory obligations with its attendant loopholes for corrupt practices”.

Abutiate also lamented on how some companies are unable to present new products for registration while others are unable to re-register products when same expire.

“This effect practically causes shortage of drugs on the market as well as the influx of unsolicited products, un-registered, fake or sub-standard products onto our market via the porous border”.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Health Committee, Dr Twum-Nuamah Kwabena who launched the project on behalf of the Minister of Health, stated that, medicine constitute about 40 percent of the total cost of health delivery thus appeals to the Chamber to assist regulators in the health sector to fight against counterfeit or unwholesome medicine in the country.

“I can assure you that Parliament is ready to support the whole process,” he assured.

The launch was graced by representatives from the Association of Ghana Industries, Ministry of Health, German Embassy, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, Ministry of Business Development, STAR Ghana, DANIDA, UKAid (DFID) among other dignitaries.

Source: Ophelia Allotey

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