The Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo Markin, has called for a ban on importation of pharmaceutical labels following the government’s decision to ban the importation of 49 medicines.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, he said such a move would complete the value chain by awarding the printing of drug labels to local printing firms in the country as annually, about $100 million is spent on the importation of labels for medication.
This is after the Akufo-Addo administration announced the ban on the importation of 49 medicines which will now be produced by local pharmaceutical companies.
They include trisilicate, amoxicillin capsules, caffeine tablets, folic acid tablets, cetirizine tablets, oral rehydration salts, among others.
“If the pharmaceuticals, already they have a tax break on their raw materials that they import, and are getting a further boost, then we should complete the value chain. That is, to also ban the importation of labels because as we speak, the pharmaceuticals in a year, import not less than $100 million worth of labels and other materials for packaging purposes.”
“Now our local printing firms have the capacity to print these labels. Graphic, for example, I am sure has the state of the art machinery and technology to do some of this printing on large scale. For the Daily Guide, if you go to their place they have the state of the art machinery. I am sure many other companies that are in the printing industry have what it takes to take on board the printing of the labels.”
Mr. Afenyo-Markin added that the argument that printing outside would be cheaper for the local companies was misplaced because “they are now enjoying some incentives.”
“If we want the local printing companies to enjoy the much needed economies of scale, we need to give them the opportunity to do so. They can then, by increasing capacity, do so at the lesser cost, create employment opportunities then the value chain would be complete,” he said.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana