If you want to invest in Tanzania’s medical industry, then you might want to consider a medicine production plant.
At the start of the week, President John Magufuli ordered financial support for the country’s locals who want to invest in pharmaceuticals.
He singled out two main specialist groups as beneficiaries of the financial aid that is to come directly from the Health Ministry, the groups are pharmacists and retired medical doctors.
The president did not leave out the private sector, he urged funding to be availed for the general business community as well.
He acknowledged the lack of capital and the limited access to loans. He even cited ‘banks’ stringent loan terms and conditions.’
94% of Medicinal Supply’s Budget Goes To Imports
President, Dr. Magufuli’s call for in-country medicine production is in line with the country’s industrialization vision.
He said empowering entrepreneurs to invest in the industry will help reduce import dependence.
Tanzania is forced to import medicines and medical supplies in large consignments because its suppliers are mostly out of operation.
Only 14 of 119 medicine and medical suppliers contracted by Tanzania’s Medical Supplies Department (MSD) operational.
Only Sh28 billion (6%) of Sh460 billion allocated for purchasing medicines and medical supplies has been utilized thus far.
For the FY 2017/18 budget, some Sh269 billion was also endorsed for the same pupose but their simply isn’t enough internal suppliers and hence the country is forced to turn to imports.
The supply of medicines and medical supplies in Tanzania is dominated by foreign companies from in and around the East African Community (EAC) and elsewhere.
Media quotes the President’s displeasure with the status quo; “There must be something seriously wrong with us. Why are we still buying medicines from other countries?”
“I think I should ask the bishops to step in! We really need to build the country’s capacity in manufacturing medical supplies,” he stressed.
Executive Order Against Delayed Medicine Consignments
President Magufuli also cautioned the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), the Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya against delays in clearance of medicine and medical supplies consignments at the port of Dar es Salaam.
“…if I receive complaints about the same problem, I will not hesitate to fire both the minister and the permanent secretary,” he warned.