Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde has urged pharmaceutical industries in Uganda to work towards increasing the size of the local market that they serve.
Kyambadde who visited Kampala Pharmaceutical Industrial Ltd on Thursday evening as part of ministerial tour to mark Africa Industrialization Day, says that local pharmaceutical manufacturers should work hard towards capturing a substantial portion of the local market.
The four major players in Uganda’s pharmaceutical industries; Kampala Pharmaceutical Industrial Ltd (KPI), Rene Industries Ltd, Quality Chemicals Industries Ltd and Abacus Drugs Limited have only managed to capture less than 20 percent of the local market.
She said pharmaceutical industries will be critical in Uganda’s drive towards reducing balance of payment deficit. Kyambadde further said the industries should explore opportunities of penetrating regional markets. She said that last year. Uganda imported medicine worth USD 260 million (964 billion Shillings).
Kyambadde asked pharmaceuticals to explore possibilities of sourcing inputs locally. Over 99 percent of inputs are imported. Kyambadde said there are opportunities for planting moringa and maize for maize starch, a key component of tablets.
Zaheem Mohamad, the CEO of KPI said there are many opportunities for pharmaceutical industries but they need right policies to support their expansion and production of affordable quality medicines.
For instance, he said government should create a level playing ground for Ugandan companies to compete with Indian companies exporting medicine to Uganda. Naheem said Indian companies get a lot of subsidies at home, which lowers the production cost.
Government last year increased verification fees from 2 to 12 percent for 37 types of selected medicines imported into the country. The move aimed at discouraging importation of drugs that can be locally manufactured and to support local companies producing the same drugs.