Utilize Local Resources To Manufacture Medicine-Chiwenga
The government has launched a pharmaceutical manufacturing strategy that will promote capacity in the local production of drugs and other medical items amid spiraling cost of imported drugs in the country.
Addressing the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (Strategy 2021-2025) launched earlier today, the vice president who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, Constantino Chiwenga said the country needs to utilize resources available to reduce imports on medicine and increase competitiveness of local industry.
“We have the brains, trees, grass, and land. Let’s utilize these resources and produce medicine locally. We want donors to buy from local manufacturers and promote our local industries,” he said.
Chiwenga said COVID-19 has exposed weaknesses in the local pharmaceutical sector hence the need to support local drug manufacturers.
“Let’s stop depending on other people for everything. We cannot be importing everything. Let’s develop our own so that we can reach exporting standards,”
Chiwenga called for all stakeholders and research institutions to join hands and be able to develop standard drugs which are internationally acceptable.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Sekai Nzenza said the country is manufacturing only 12 percent of the drugs in the country.
“We are importing 85% of the ingredients. This is why medicines remain expensive locally because we are exporting everything. Launching this strategy will see the country utilizing what we already have.
“Despite that most of these raw materials such as glucose and starch used to be sourced locally and can still be manufactured locally but nonetheless are being imported. We want medicines to be accessible, affordable and internationally standardized,” she added.
This strategy will see the country producing medicines locally hence reducing quantities of drugs being imported.