The Member of Parliament for Effutu is pushing for a ban on the printing of labels of pharmaceutical products outside Ghana, saying they can be done locally.

Alexander Afenyo Markin said the move will complete the value chain process which will ensure that Ghanaian printing firms will be given the contracts to print drug labels.

His comments come on the back of assurances by Trades Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, in May last year that local printers will be in charge of printing of labels for drugs produced in Ghana.

The Trades Ministry announced a ban on the importation of some 49 drugs to allow them to be produced by local manufacturers.

They include trisilicate, amoxicillin capsules, caffeine tablets, folic acid tablets, cetirizine tablets, oral rehydration salts, among others.

The action was part of government’s plan to help local pharmaceutical companies to build capacity as well as create jobs.  

The decision, the Trades Ministry claimed, will save the country about $100 million spent on the importation of labels for those medicines.

Speaking in Parliament Friday, Mr Markin said it will be a grave injustice for those local companies tasked to produce the banned drugs to print the labels outside the country when they are enjoying some incentives.

“All I want is for the leader of the Business Committee to follow up on the assurance given by the Trades Minister as to the steps taken to address the concerns of the local printers,” he added.

The Effutu MP argues that “if the President tells Ghanaians he wants a Ghana Beyond Aid, these are some of the steps that when taken and followed up properly, will get us out of where we find ourselves.”

He urged Parliament to follow up on Mr Kyeremanten’s assurance to ensure that a complete value chain is created and the gap is bridged by helping local pharmaceutical companies.