Saturday, June 15, 2024

Indian Pharmaceutical Companies Show Interest in Setting up Manufacturing Plants in Zambia

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The Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) has welcomed the interest expressed by globally renowned Indian pharmaceutical companies in establishing manufacturing plants in Zambia. This development could be a significant step towards addressing drug shortages in the country on both short and long-term bases. A team comprising Members of Parliament from the Parliamentary Committee on Health, ZAMMSA, and the Ministry of Health recently visited India to witness the packing of the first consignment of health center kits and engage with major producers and suppliers of drugs.

During their visit, the team held meetings with three prominent Indian companies: Torrent Group, Pathkits, and Akums Healthcare Limited. ZAMMSA Director General Billy Mweetwa expressed satisfaction with the discussions, stating that the companies’ interest aligns with the government’s agenda of localizing production for essential medicines. In addition to addressing immediate supply concerns, this collaboration has the potential to bring jobs into the Zambian economy and broaden the revenue base, contributing to the country’s long-term resilience.

“The impression we got is that they are willing to work with us to establish a base in Zambia and beyond, which is a big thing for us because this is aligned to the national agenda of building resilience in the supply chain through localizing the production of these essential medicines,” said Mr. Mweetwa.

Zambia’s Acting High Commissioner to India, Mrs. Deliwe Mumbi, welcomed the delegation and highlighted the challenges faced by the mission, including the need to establish a facility in Zambia with the help of one of India’s multispecialty hospitals. Mrs. Mumbi expressed gratitude for the opening of the Office of the Counsellor (Health), which has facilitated engagement with health institutions in India.

The establishment of manufacturing plants by these Indian pharmaceutical companies in Zambia has the potential to significantly address the country’s drug shortage. The presence of a dedicated health office within the High Commission in India has played a crucial role in fostering meaningful engagements with health institutions. Counsellor (Health), Professor Victor Mukonka, acknowledged the positive impact of Vice President Mrs. Mutale Nalumango’s previous visit to India and her engagements with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals.

“We are determined to facilitate whatever efforts are being done by our leadership back in Zambia through the Ministry of Health,” stated Prof. Mukonka.

This initiative to attract Indian pharmaceutical companies not only ensures a sustained, regular, and predictable supply of drugs but also positions Zambia as a hub for the whole Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. By establishing manufacturing industries, these companies can not only serve Zambia’s needs but also become a channel for supplying essential medicines throughout the region.

The Zambian government’s efforts, in collaboration with Indian pharmaceutical companies, are a significant stride towards resolving the drug shortage issue. The Ministry of Health remains committed to creating an enabling environment for investment and promoting local production of essential medicines.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The setting up of pharmaceutical companies in Zambia is most welcome not only to Zambia but to the SADC region. Countries like Botswana which are also struggling with crippling drug shortages will benefit a lot.

  2. How laughable…. starting all over again. Those who were not born that time….we had these factories until the educated closed them and sold the machinery. It’s a good idea.

  3. We can not manufacture medicines in Zambia ourselves. What can we do on our own?Also look how large the group that traveled only to go watch Indians park medicines.

  4. The largest consumer of medical products in Zambia is GRZ, so its attitude towards the local suppliers will determine how robust the supply chains become. UNIP left a robust medical manufacturing sector that’s gone down because of brainless politicians. We were almost about to begin manufacturing ARVs at the former Gamma Pharmaceuticals in Ndola but MMD politicians so it differently. They wanted to make good commissions so they opted to support those that were ready to pay bribes. Yash at Kafue is an Indian, is he receiving support or they consider him as a part of PF? I advise those companies not to get excited but ask those that are in Zambia because our politicians can’t be trusted. They wield so much power but have no brains

  5. They are telling you lies…all they will do is rent out warehouses and use them to import their cheap drugs to flood the market. Why would an Indian set up a manufacturing plant in Zambia when they have all the skill, cheap labour and machinery in India..plus you think an Indian would train up black people when he has unemployed graduates in Dehli doing nothing.

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