The government is investing in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector as part of measures to diversify the economy.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said an effective pharmaceutical industry would not only boost the economy but also create skilled jobs.
“For the country to depend on only two commodities — cocoa and gold — for over 100 years is clearly not sustainable. So we need to diversify our economy,” he said at the relaunch of COA Mixture, a well-being medication manufactured by COA Research and Manufacturing Company Limited, at a ceremony in Accra on May 25, 2022.
According to the minister, “the country produces only about 30 per cent of our required medicines, so we import almost 70 per cent of our required drugs, which is unacceptable”.
On the stigma associated with herbal medicines in the country, Mr Kyerematen urged manufacturers to work closely with the regulatory agencies to build public confidence in their products.
“If you want to become like COA, you have to be able to subject your products to various processes, including therapeutic analysis. If you want to do mass production that will earn you income, then you need to expose your processes to technology,” he added.
He commended COA Research and Manufacturing Company for following due process in the manufacture of its medicines.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of COA Company, Prof. Samuel Ato Duncan, explained that COA Mixture was a well-researched plant medicine that had been scientifically developed and approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
“It is not an HIV and AIDS drug. COA Mixture is for healthy living; it is a 100 per cent natural product from plants and without any artificial preservatives.
Whether you are sick or not, you need COA Mixture for good health.
“COA Mixture is one of the best medicines the world has ever produced because of the numerous evidence-based testimonies from users,” he said.
Prof. Duncan said his outfit was close to a research breakthrough in a plant medicine from which, when successful, the country could realise not less than $32 billion annually.
“This will bring economic relief to the nation and also offer treatment to some diseases the world is still struggling to treat,” he added, although he declined to give further details of what his entity was researching on.
He donated GH¢100,000 to the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM) to help members go through evaluation and registration processes for the certification of their medicines.
A Deputy Minister of Health, Mahama Asei Seini, challenged plant medicine manufacturers to work closely with scientists and other stakeholders to survive the global competition in the pharmaceutical sector.
The General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Titus Kofi Beyuo, said the FDA was a respected regulator globally and so once it sanctioned a product with its seal, a manufacturer would not have problems with the GMA prescribing the product for patrons.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Asakyirihene (Benkum Division) of the Kumasi Traditional Council, Nana Mensa Bonsu, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said plant medicine was the way top go to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal Three on the well-being of people and, therefore, called for support for the COA Company in its work.
He said the company had acquired a 1,000-acre land in the Ashanti Region for the cultivation of raw materials.
The new COA Mixture later was unveiled.