Ethiopia has been taking various measures towards transforming its pharmaceutical manufacturing sector with a view of ensuring social and economic benefits of the country, said senior government officials. drugs A one-day workshop held on Tuesday deliberated on a newly developed document dubbed “National Strategy and Plan of Action for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Development” aiming to transform the sector over the next 10 years.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Mebrahtu Meles, Ethiopian State Minister of Industry, said the government has been taking various measures to transform the pharmaceutical industry, which he said is still very small in size with low capacity.
The National Strategy and Plan of Action has been developed jointly by the Ethiopian government and the World Health Organization (WHO) with technical support from different organizations and individuals.
In its first five-year growth and transformation plan (GTP), which ends this year, Ethiopia had targeted about 20 million U.S. dollars from the export of pharmaceutical products, but the country’s export was close to 2 million dollars in 2014, which was far below the set target.
The Ethiopian government has been taking a number of steps to incentivize the pharmaceutical manufacturing in the last 5 years, yet the country has not achieved the targets set, noted Kebede Worku, Ethiopian State Minister of Health. “Local pharmaceutical manufacturing plants operate far below their designed capacities, and share not more than 20 percent of demand for essential medicines. As a result, more than 80 percent of essential medicines demand is fulfilled from international market,” said Kebede.
It is stated in the document that Ethiopia’s local industry in the sector presently comprises of 22 pharmaceutical and medical suppliers, manufacturers with nine directly involved in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products, and most of the manufacturers operate below their capacities.
The strategy is aligned and harmonized with the country’s next five years’ health sector transformation plan and its GTP to enhance the capacity of manufacturers towards ensuring supply of affordable and quality medicines to the local and regional markets, including the competitive international market.
The State Minister of Industry confirmed his Ministry’s strong commitment to leading the implementation of the National Strategy and Plan of Action in collaboration with Ministry of Health, WHO and all other partners.
Speaking at the workshop, Pierre M’Pele, WHO Representative in Ethiopia, and Jean Bakole, Representative of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), have expressed the interest of their respective organizations to support Ethiopia’s endeavor in improving the country’s pharmaceutical industry. Enditem
Published: Jun 2, 2015. By Spy Ghana
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