Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Performing Poorly Due to Currency Shortages
By Staff Reporter
May 22, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- Local pharmaceutical manufacturers have reportedly performed poorly over the past nine months, according the Ethiopian pharmaceutical supply agency (EPSA).
Presenting the nine months performance report to the Women, Youth and Social Affairs Standing Committee of the House of People's Representatives on Wednesday, the Agency's Director General Dr. Loko Abrham said the Local pharmaceutical manufacturers were able to attain only 33 percent of the their set target during the stated period.
Dr Loko attributed the low performance to minimal attention of the government to the sector and poor budget and institutional capacities.
"The local pharmaceutical manufacturers have had critical dollar shortage as the government did not provide them with foreign currency for more than a year and the surge in the price of raw materials in the international market following the devaluation as the reasons behind their inability to supply pharmaceuticals in line with the quoted price in their contract with the agency have badly affected their performance, the director general told the MPs.
Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency (EPSA), is the legal entity established under the law of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Government to overcome the problems in this industry and assure uninterrupted supply of pharmaceuticals to the public at an affordable price. The Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency was established in September 2007 by Proclamation No. 553/2007 as part of Pharmaceutical Logistic Master Plan implementation
According to the director general, the national bank of Ethiopia rather favors pharmaceuticals importers rather than local manufacturers through the provision of foreign currency even though The governer of the national bank is board member of the agency.
During the regural session of the parliament, members of the Women, Youth and Social Affairs Standing Committee commented that they have observed shortage of medicines in public health institutions, requiring prompt solutions.
The MPs, in their feild visit, also noticed that up to 400 containers loaded with pharmaceuticals were held at Modjo Dry Port left there to spoil.
Dr. Loko said the agency is forced to buy the pharmaceuticals products from those private companies which are privileged to get forreign currency exchanges and distribute them to the health institutions and drug stores.
Public health institutions still prefer to buy from private distributors, the director general added.
The Agency was urged to support the local manufacturers, boost their capacity to manufacture and supply the pharmaceuticals in the coming months through solving the foreign currency problem soon.
Going forward, local manufacturers were also urged to focus on pharmaceuticals with high demand in the society and bolster cooperation among themselves.