Let’s go local on medicines: Govt

John Mangwiro

Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro has urged pharmaceutical companies to promote production of herbal and generic medicines to reduce the country’s medical import bill.

Addressing delegates yesterday at the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) annual general meeting in Harare, Mangwiro warned companies that have been issued with cannabis licences to desist from abusing them.

“As government, we are promoting local production of both herbal and generic Western medicine; this reduces our foreign currency expenditure on importing health commodities,” Mangwiro said.

“We will not tolerate any abuse of cannabis licences and criminal diversion of this controlled substance. Let me emphasise that the use of cannabis is restricted to medicinal and research purposes only."

“As a ministry, we also encourage local professionals not to be left behind if there are genuine socio-economic and environmental benefits that accrue from cannabis. Government is committed to building an internationally competitive cannabis industry that is predicated on integrity and policy consistency.”

He said MCAZ had been responding well to government’s call for the country to promote local manufacturing of medical products.

“I am glad that the MCAZ has responded to the government’s call of promoting local manufacturing of medicines and medical products through the establishment of the small business support (SBS) unit. This is in line with my ministry’s 2021-23 strategic plan.

“This plan seeks to increase local medicines manufacturing to imported medicines ratio from 20:80 to 80:20. The SBS unit will provide local manufacturing support and facilitative assistance, under the key programme of bio-medical engineering, bio-medical science, pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical production,” Mangwiro said.

  • Follow Harriet on Twitter @harrietchikand1


Related Topics