Pharmaceutical Association of Malawi (Phamam) has said local manufacturers of drugs and other pharmaceutical products risk losing business from the Buy Malawi deal which they have struck with Ministry of Trade and Industry and Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) if they fail to perform in the agreement.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday in Lilongwe after signing of the Buy Malawi Campaign memorandum of understanding (MoU) for pharmaceutical products, the association’s convener Chokani Mhango said CMST will not be bound to procure drugs from any of their members who fail to deliver on their contracts.
Local pharmaceutical companies have the capacity to meet all the demand for drugs which they manufacture in the country and we have given that information to Central Medical Stores Trust. It is very clear that whoever fails to perform on their contracts will not get the next orders from the trust.
“The provision of high quality drugs is one objective the association will jealously guard,” said Mhango.
He said the association will depend on other stakeholders such as Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board (PMPB) and Ministry of Health to ensure that all inefficiencies in the pharmaceutical sector are addressed.
“We are aware that concern has been raised in some quarters that buying locally manufactured products is tantamount to compromising on quality. The assertion is that drugs are orally taken and therefore can be dangerous to health,” said Mhango.
Principal secretary for Ministry of Trade and Industry Nebert Nyirenda said the Buy Malawi Campaign’s success in the country’s pharmaceutical industry will depend on the conduct of local drug manufacturers.
“There will be no compromises. Quality, timeliness on delivery, cost of the drugs and constituency with what the market is looking for are components that cannot be compromised,” said Nyirenda.
CMST chairperson Evelyn Itimu said government formulated the trust to, among others, ensure that it is self-sustaining after recapitalisation; hence, they will not compromise on quality of drugs it procures.
“Quality of products and competitive pricing are sensitive as they touch on CMST’s quest to be self-sustaining. It is only a competitively priced quality product that can excite the market,” said Itimu.