While officially commissioning the new National Pharmaceutical Warehouse in Harare last Thursday, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa called upon Ministry of Health and NatPharm to focus on local manufacturing of affordable and quality medicines.
“I urge the Ministry of Health and Child Care and NatPharm to complement Government’s ongoing import substitution strategy by ensuring that procurement of medicines supports the local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.
“Meanwhile, quality and affordability must be the guiding principles in the sourcing of products from international manufacturers,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa expressed his desire to see more locally manufactured medicines filling our pharmacy shelves thereby reducing the risks of supply disruption as was the case during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ultimately, it is my expectation that we must gradually begin to see the shelves of these warehouses being filled up with ‘Made in Zimbabwe’ pharmaceutical products, in line with our national Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy. Zimbabwe is desirous to urgently reduce the risks associated with disruptions in global supply chains as was experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President stressed that having more of locally manufactured medicines will result in a low cost of vital medication which will be accessible to most people and create jobs in the process.
“Furthermore, the increased local production of drugs should see more of our people having access to vital medicines at a lower cost.
“Local manufacturing must also create modern jobs, stimulate economic activities and increase productivity across the pharmaceutical value chain,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa said institutions of higher learning should enter into the field of medicines research and manufacturing and support the growth of the pharmaceutical industry.
“On its part, my Government continues to capacitate our country’s Higher Education, Science and Technology Institutes in the research and development of drugs and other aspects of the pharmaceutical industry and bio-medical sub-sector,” President Mnangagwa said.
On another note, the President spoke about doing research on traditional medicines and commercialising them adding that new products should be introduced into the pharmaceutical industry.
“Over and above this, due attention is being given to additional research in traditional medicines, their patenting as well as commercialisation. This is further anticipated to spur innovation and development of new products in the sector,” said the President.