Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa, has challenged pharmaceutical manufacturers in the country to think globally and eye international markets.
Mussa made the call on Thursday in Mangochi when he officially opened a one-day meeting aimed at reviewing implementation of Pharmaceutical Chapter of the Buy Malawi Strategy.
The minister said manufacturing high quality pharmaceutical products and supplies would in turn promote the vision of the country’s leadership of turning Malawi into a more exporting country than an importing one.
“I’d like to challenge local pharmaceutical manufacturers to not only target Malawi but to think globally and target global markets,” said Mussa, adding: “We should know that even pharmaceutical giants of today such as China and India started from humble beginnings.”
On the meeting, Mussa said it was very important that Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) and pharmaceutical manufacturers met to review the Buy Malawi Strategy Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was effected in 2013.
He also urged CMST to prioritize purchasing of drugs and medical supplies from the local pharmaceutical manufacturers to promote the Buy Malawi Strategy.
The Pharmaceutical Chapter of the Buy Malawi Strategy was formed in 2013 and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Malawi (PHAMAM) and Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
According to CMST Chief Executive Officer, Feston Kaupa, CMST is the implementing body of the Pharmaceutical Chapter and under the MoU, PHAMAM members are allocated some medical products and supplies to supply to the Trust.
“Since 2013, twenty products from the 3,440 that Central Medical Stores Trust supplies to the public health facilities were allocated to local manufacturers under the PHAMAM,” explained Kaupa.
He added: “Presently, from the 3,440 products we have taken out 790 products that are ‘must-buy-products’ and we have raised the allocation of products to 60 from 20 and we hope that by doing this we will be promoting the Buy Malawi Strategy.”