Players in the Pharmaceutical Industry have said that there is enough stock of the essential drugs needed for the management of the covid-19 cases in the country.
They add that the stock could last the country for at least three months.
Should there even be a shortage, the Pharmaceutical companies have assured that they have the capacity to produce the drugs locally.
But to be proactive and not wait for the drugs to get finish in the markets, the Pharma companies and all the other stakeholders have met with the country’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to discuss how best the authority could fast track the approval for the production of more of the essential drugs.
Despite the urgent need to manufacture more of the drugs, the FDA, says it will not compromise on the quality of what will be produced.
The Head of Communications of the FDA, Mr James Lartey, is quoted to have said in the Ghana News Agency, that the authority will still insist on the efficacy and the safety of any drug that will be produced in the country to help combat the deadly viral disease.
Essential drugs for management of covid-19 cases
The proposed drugs for treatment for COVID-19 include hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, and Remdesivir.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are oral prescription drugs that are used for treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions.
Chloroquine is used for malaria treatment and chemoprophylaxis, whilst hydroxychloroquine is used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and porphyria cutanea tarda.
“Remdesivir is an investigational intravenous drug with broad antiviral activity that inhibits viral replication through the premature termination of RNA transcription and has in-vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 and in-vitro and in-vivo activity against related beta coronaviruses,” the FDA explained.
“It is necessary to establish the current stocks of essential medicines, both finished products and raw materials, the capacity of the local manufacturers to meet the needs of the country to help the Ministry of Health in planning to avert any shortages and stock outs”, it added.
President’s meeting with captains of industry
President Akufo-Addo, in a meeting with the captains of industry few weeks ago, said the Coronavirus pandemic presents a perfect opportunity for Ghana to increase its manufacturing capacity despite the severe consequences the disease poses to the nation.
At that particular meeting, which was held at the Jubilee House in Accra, the President lamented the overly-reliant nature of the country on everything foreign.
Consequently, he urged them to help the country to become self-sufficient in the manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment and drugs needed to fight viral diseases.
“We are not talking just pharmaceuticals. We are far too dependent on the things made abroad and imported by us for use.
“We should be making most of the things we need in Ghana ourselves, and I am seeing what is happening to us, in this crisis, as an opportunity. It has very big consequences, but it also an opportunity. They say necessity is the mother of invention and advisedly so,” the President said.
But the Pharmaceutical companies in the meeting with FDA, which was held few days ago, urged the Government to supply the requisite guarantees to enable them to secure financial support from the banks to produce the needed essentials drugs.
The Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Delese Darko, led a team of officers during the meeting with the Pharmaceutical companies.
Some of the stakeholders present at the meeting included the Chamber of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG), Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association (PIWA), Community Practice Pharmacists Association (CPPA), and Small-Scale Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Association.