When home-made isn't best
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The announcement coincides with an article in nearby Ghana, which outlines the many problems with government-assisted pharmaceutical production.
Africa's pharmaceutical industry has grown to provide 40 per cent of the continent's drug supply, yet there are reasons why the figure is not higher, explains the author.
Many of the components required are extremely expensive and need to be imported from Europe and the USA. Furthermore, necessary conditions to produce high quality drugs are often lacking--such as a reliable power supply.
Worryingly a study last year showed that almost half African-produced drugs procured in six major African cities were substandard. Political support for such plants is therefore extremely dangerous.
If governments really want to encourage local production, they should drop the tariffs on imported components and ingredients that such facilities require.