HEALTH: Government to boost local drugs

Government will remove tariffs on raw materials and encourage public-private partnerships to rejuvenate local pharmaceutical manufacturers before the year ends.

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Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said this would help Zimbabwe attain self-sufficiency on its medicine stocks and end donor dependency.

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“My ministry is working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to ensure that tariffs are removed on imported raw materials to empower our own people and revive the operations of the local pharmaceutical industry,” Dr Parirenyatwa said.

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“Our vision is to preserve money as we stop buying finished pharmaceutical products from outside and manufacture locally the same products at reasonable prices.

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“Presently, the country is importing finished pharmaceutical products because they are proving to be cheaper than the locally manufactured ones and we are saying removing the tariffs also reduces production costs.”

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He said Government created a platform for international players to partner locals in provision of health services and mobilisation of resources to boost internal manufacturing capacities.

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Dr Parirenyatwa added, “Such partnerships create room for new equipment for our local manufacturers.

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Old equipment in the local pharmaceutical manufacturer industries is a major challenge as they contribute to increase production costs.”

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Reports from NatPharm show that 98 percent of the country’s drug supplies are from donors.