Pharmaceutical industry players say the need to nationally prioritise the pharmaceutical sector to enable it meet the emerging health care needs of Ghanaians is crucial.

They said more incentives should also be given to the industry so that it could produce enough to support the health sector which relied heavily on imports.

“Now Pharma has become very critical all over the world, and it is important that we make the pharmaceutical sector a priority.

“If it is a priority and we all geared our efforts to the whole value chain like happened in India, then we can manufacture for ourselves and other countries,” Mr Ben Botwe, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana said.

He was a panelist at the third edition of the Ghana Pharma Summit held in Accra on Thursday.

He, together with the other three panel members, argued that the pharmaceutical sector needed to be provided with financial support, strong market access and the technical assistance so it could produce enough medicine and services to the people.

While emphasizing on the need to support the sector, he also called for community pharmacy to be integrated into the public health system, while every district and region, should have a pharmaceutical services outlets that would be able to serve the health care needs of community members.

Executive Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana, Lucia Addae, said “medicine security is a national security” and so the nation should endeavour to make the pharma industry so robust that there would be enough raw materials available to manufacture medicines to cater for Ghana and in West Africa.  

Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Mampong, Dr Alfred Appiah said in finding a cure to the Coronavirus pandemic, the herbal or plant sector had a lot of potential to explore, therefore, the need to turn attention to that area, by investing into it and developing it.

A Lecturer at the Pharmaceutical Department, Central University College, Dr Raymond Tetteh said since the wealth of the nation depended on the health of the people, the country should prioritised the sector, with political parties factoring pharmaceutical issue in their manifestos, making it a national priority.

Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Central University College, Professor Kwasi Adomako Ohemeng, said the pharmaceutical industry, although lucrative,  was capital intensive, and faced a tiny market in the country, hence the need for a national conversation that could help address the challenges and make the industry more fluid to attract the needed investment and market support.

The Summit was held on the theme: “COVID-19: The Capacity of the Pharma Industry, What lies ahead”.

It was organized by Globe Productions, an event organizer, in collaboration with the Ghana Pharma Awards and Graphic Business.