Suspend E.I. 2023 on medicine importation to avert massive deaths - GNCoP, PIWA to govt

Health Suspend E.I. 2023 on medicine importation to avert massive deaths - GNCoP, PIWA to govt
FEB 9, 2024 LISTEN

Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy (GNCoP) and Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association (PIWA) have called for the immediate suspension of the Executive Instrument (E.I. 2023) on the Restriction of medicines imports.

The Associations said the restrictions could have dire consequences on the health of the population which could potentially lead to medicine shortages, price hikes and loss of human lives.

At a press conference held in Accra, the Associations said the E.I. 2023 restricted the importation of 142 products in three Schedules.

The first restriction, they said was on the importation of medicines for local-manufacturers only which happened some years ago with a restriction on 27 Products.

Subsequently, in 2016, pursuant to E.I. 181, the importation of 49 Products were again restricted for local manufacturers.

Mr. Fifi Yamoah Jnr., Executive Secretary, PIWA, said the expansion to 142 products under the new regulation would undoubtedly have serious ramifications on the country's health sector.

He said the inadequacies of local manufacturers would make the implementation of the E.I. troubling as they could not meet the demand of health care providers.

“There is even no data to confirm the capacity for the products under the previous E.I. 181. This fact is glaring from the Ministry of Health's own reports on the Framework Contract 1 and 2 statistics,” Mr Yamoah Jnr. said.

He said with a maximum of two local pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Ghana, none of the remaining local manufacturers had demonstrated ability to meet their contractual obligations to the fullest as far as awards to supply under MOH/GHS tenders are concerned.

“Most health facilities in the public sector are forced to rely on importers to keep serving their patients,” the Executive Secretary said.

He said the E.I. could not potentially only lead to price hikes in medicines but the quality of medicines produced by the local manufacturers could be compromised.

“This could happen if the requisite infrastructure, proper data collection and analysis are not assessed before taking a step of medication ban,” he added.