The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, has asked rallied Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of the ECOWAS sub-region's huge market to expand.
He indicated that enormous opportunities existed in the sub-regional market, which they needed to fully exploit to substantially increase their product lines.
Addressing an annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) in Kumasi, he asked that the Society collaborated with the government to devise ways to “capture” the market.
He added that this should be made an urgent priority and be seen as “a must-do crusade”.
“Harnessing opportunities in pharmacy for national economic development” is the theme chosen for the six-day meeting.
Mr Osafo Maafo pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry held tremendous potential for the nation’s economy and underlined the government’s unswerving determination to provide the needed support for its optimal performance.
He said it was for this reason that it had introduced a number of stimulus packages for the sector.
Among these is the exception of custom duties on all raw materials imported for local manufacturing of drugs.
The government was also in talks with key stakeholders to exempt value added tax (VAT) on manufactured pharmaceutical products.
Additionally, it had been discussing with ECOWAS member states to harmonize free movement of pharmaceutical products in the sub-region.
The Senior Minister encouraged the companies to focus on building the capacity to penetrate the international market.
Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Health Minister, said the government would go the extra mile to assist them to supply greater percentage of the nation’s medicine needs to reduce the import bill.
He hinted of more incentives to aid their growth, expansion and competitiveness on the international market.
He said the government was eager to establish Ghana as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in West Africa.