The Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana is making fresh and ambitious demands to reduce imports of medicines substantially within the short to medium term with the creation of a new local production line.
The group is among others seeking one hundred percent income tax-free status and duty-free imports for building materials to help achieve this aim.
The Chamber also admits that the continuous importation of medicines which is currently estimated at seventy percent (70%), impedes local growth and has partly contributed to the rise in the cost of healthcare.
The President of the Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association, Samuel Donkor disclosed their plea, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Chamber and Appollonia City.
“We, therefore, urge the government to do what it can by providing the physical incentives; 100 percent exemptions on import duties and levies on all inputs and raw materials to be used for the pharma-park; 100 percent exemption on export duty to enable us export to neighbouring countries; 100 percent exemption on income tax; total exemption from payment of withholding taxes from dividends arising out of investments as well as relief from double taxation for foreign investors,” he stressed.
The MoU will see to the release of about 60-acre land for the establishment of pharma-park at the Appollonia village.
The site will host factories for the production of medicines locally and improve supply both to the local and regional markets.
CEO of Appollonia City, Bright Amofa also committed to the provision of the needed incentives to get the project fulfilled.
“Our partnership here today is to assist the Chamber with providing the land, the infrastructure and also assisting with funding for their members to be able to develop their industries. There are a number of indigenous companies who are members of the Chamber who are importing and distributing,” he observed.
Mr. Amofa further intimated: “It is important that we strengthen our local economy so this for us marks the beginning of many things to come and the growing of our local pharmaceutical company to match that of others like India which have grown.”
The Deputy Minister of Health Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu who witnessed the event also pledged of the Ministry and government’s support for private businesses to achieve this aim.