Zimbabwe Cabinet, last week approved the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy in Zimbabwe:2021-2025, with an objective to increase local production of essential medicines from the current US$31.5 million to US$150 million and from 30% to 60% by 2025.
Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the strategy has an objective to also increase the market share of local pharmaceutical products from the current 12% to 35% and to improve exports of the drugs products from 10% to 25% by 2025.
Mutsvangwa said, “Cabinet acknowledged that the major challenge bedevilling the pharmaceutical sector was low production as a result of use of obsolete and antiquated equipment, cumbersome registration procedures and limited innovation.”
Implementation of the Strategy will not only resolve bottlenecks in the drug sector but will also result in increased production of essential medicines for both domestic and export markets.
The Broadcasting Minister also said that Government institutions and hospitals will be encouraged to procure pharmaceutical products from Local manufacturers in line with the local Content Strategy in order to increase production.
Competitiveness of the local pharmaceutical industry will be achieved through measures such as the use of raw materials that are exempted from import duties as well as Value Added Tax deferment.
“NatPharm will increase its capacity to procure locally manufactured pharmaceutical products,” she said.
The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) will be capacitated to ensure faster registration of pharmaceutical products and to develop a programme on plant refurbishments, and upgrading and improvements in Quality Management Systems. This will ensure that the local manufacturers comply with international pharmaceutical manufacturing quality standards and enhance competitiveness locally and internationally.
The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy is the first one in the history of Zimbabwe.
Mutsvangwa also said, “Government, in collaboration with local industry, will also push for the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers in order to promote export development.”