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25.03.2008 Health

Use Local Raw Materials For Drug Production•Health Minister Urges

By Daily Guide
Use Local Raw Materials For Drug Production•Health Minister Urges

MANAGEMENT OF Phyto-Riker (GIHOC) Pharmaceuticals Limited, one of Ghana's leading drug manufacturing companies has been urged to consider using local raw materials for manufacturing its products.

According to the Health Minister, Maj. Courage Quarshigah (rtd), that approach would not only generate more revenue for the country but would also help keep people in business.

He gave the advice when he and two other officials from the ministry paid a familiarisation visit to the company in Accra last Wednesday March 19.

He said the utilisation of local raw materials by drug manufacturing companies would further help to expose the rich nature of Ghana's natural resources to the world, thereby expanding foreign markets for them.

He pledged the ministry's readiness to collaborate with the company in this direction, adding that the move would go a long way to help achieve great successes for the country, as far as revenue generation was concerned.

The minister, who was taken on a tour of the various sections of the company's main plant, congratulated management and the entire Phyto-Riker workforce for working hard to earn the rank of best company in the drug manufacturing industry.

Mr. Kaustubh Dharkar, Chief Executive Officer of the company, who earlier briefed the minister and his entourage, said Phyto-Riker (GIHOC) Pharmaceuticals Limited, would not relent in its efforts to maintain the production of good quality drugs.

He said the high demand for the company's products by customers is indicative of the fact that Phyto-Riker products remain the best on the market.

The company's products, according to him, are not only doing very well on the local market but also across surrounding West African countries.

Mr Dharkar said five new products, including Medamox 500mg (Dewormer), Diphex Cough Syrup and Cetapol tablets (Paracetamol 500mg) have so far been introduced into the Ghanaian market this year, adding that more than 40 different products including capsules, tablets and various categories of suspension are currently being produced by the company.

He was hopeful the visit by the minister would help to further strengthen the already good relations between the company and the Health Ministry.

Mrs Caroline Asante, Head of Production, later told HEALTH MATTERS in an interview that similar visits had been paid by Pharmacy Colleges and trained Pharmacists.

“We are also privileged to have hosted a number of officials from the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and other health related bodies who inspected the quality of our products and gave advice on how to improve upon our performance,” she said.

The General Manager in-charge of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Richard Odor described the Health Minister's visit as heartwarming, saying, “I must admit this is the highest profile visit we have had in a long while.”

He however said the only challenge facing the company was the lack of constant flow of water which was affecting cost of production.

The company, he said, currently consumed 10,000 gallons of water daily. The water, he explained, was supplied by water tankers from the Ghana Water Company.

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