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The Government challenged to promote local drug production

The Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services has called on the government to build pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity through the promotion of local drug production in the country.

Committee Chairperson, Christopher Kalila, has disclosed that during the period that the committee has been interrogating the subject of local manufacturing of medicines, it has come to its attention that out of six thousand types of medicines on the Zambian market, only 200 are produced locally.

Dr Kalila who is also a Lukulu East Member of parliament emphasized the need for the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) to begin engaging local manufacturers by awarding them contracts to supply drugs.

“Currently there are only four local producers enjoying government support and the current situation is of concern to the committee that has been interrogating the issue and it shall propose to bring it to the attention of the executive,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Kalila said the committee during its tour of local manufacturers of medicines in the Kabwe district was saddened to learn of how International Drug Company is stuck with a stock of drips worth US$ 4.5 Million due to lack of market as the country is importing the items.

He has since appealed to the Ministry of Health to engage the company and procure the essential drug on merit as the gesture will support industries run by citizens.