Zimbabwe launches pharmaceutical manufacturing strategy to boost drug production
The strategy is also expected to improve the pharmaceutical industry's contribution to public health by increasing the availability of the country's essential medicines. Excess drugs will be exported.
Chiwenga, who also doubles up as Minister of Health and Child Care, said the strategy should result in the provision of affordable medicines to citizens.
Many people on medical aid are currently paying huge shortfalls when buying medicines because their medical aid societies only pay prescribed rates for specified drugs. The situation is even worse for those who are not on medical aid who at times forgo prescribed drugs because they cannot afford the high prices.
"The overall thrust of the Pharmaceutical Development Strategy is to make medicines accessible and affordable to citizens," Chiwenga said.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Sekai Nzenza said she hoped that the new strategy would address the country's needs and make medicines affordable. "Zimbabwe is currently manufacturing only 12 percent of the medicines used locally and importing the rest, making most of our medicines expensive. Hence the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy is expected to address that," she said. ■