Consortium ready to produce COVID-19 vaccines locally – PMAG


… as major industry players honoured at 2021 Pharma Awards

The Pharmaceutical Association of Ghana (PMAG) has formed a consortium ready to take advantage of the nation’s effort geared at producing COVID-19 vaccines locally.

According to the association, the consortium, made up of local pharmaceutical companies with knowledge and operational skills in the production of vaccines, is hoping for some expedited efforts from government to make the nation the first to produce vaccines on the continent and leverage on that to accelerate economic growth and boost the sector’s fortunes.

The Executive Secretary of PMAG, Lucia Addae Ntiri, told the B&FT at this year’s Ghana Pharma Award that, the local pharmaceutical industry is poised to make history.

Her comments come on the back of President Nana Akufu-Addo’s quest to support the production of vaccines locally as global shortage is hampering the socioeconomic recovery plans of the country.

“We believe everything he is saying. I can tell you on authority that currently we have formed a consortium which is a group of companies that has come together to make sure that even if it is viral or bacterial line opportunity for vaccine manufacturing, the nation is able to do.

The consortium puts together good brains who have been doing manufacturing for some good years to be able to bring this into reality. The establishment of the National Vaccine Institute would determine how fast the local industry would receive support to go into the production of vaccines,” she said.

She added that it is the hope of the industry that the experts put together will come up with ideas which will lead to the proposed National Vaccine Institute becoming an authority in vaccine production in the country and the continent.

“If they can support us, like the Serum Institute of India, to take a license that will be able to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine like the Astrazeneca.

Once we have that institute, then, it means that we are covered when it comes to research and development, finance, human resources and all the structures that are needed to make this a reality. It is big and has potential. We just need to be able to align the roadmap, be very committed to it and ensure that both government and non-governmental agencies work to achieve success,” she said.

The President in his 26th Address to the nation on government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic said: “the global shortage of vaccines means that we must develop our capacity to produce our own vaccines domestically, and reduce our dependence on foreign supplies. We must be self-sufficient in this regard in the future, and prepare ourselves better to deal with any such occurrences in the future.

To this end, the Committee I established, under the leadership of the world-renowned Ghanaian scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, to investigate Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub, to meet national and regional needs, has presented its preliminary report which, amongst others, recommends the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead this development.

Government has committed to inject seed funding of some twenty-five million United States dollars (US$25 million) this year into this whole enterprise.”

Mrs. Addae Ntiri said governments efforts need to be complemented by local pharmaceutical players, the very reason the consortium has been formed.

Award Winners

The third Ghana Pharma Awards witnesses 47 winners, both individuals and companies.

Excellence In Pharma: Formulation, was Entrance Pharmaceuticals and Research Centre; Excellence in Pharma: Packaging, M&G Pharmaceuticals; Retailer of the Year, Ernest Chemist; Exporter of the Year, Tobinco Pharmaceuticals; Importer of the Year, Unicom.

The Marketing Campaign of the Year was Man-Up, Unichem Ghana; Promising Company of the Year, Shalina Healthcare; Excellence in Customer Service, Ernest Chemist; Excellence in HSEQ, Entrance Pharmaceuticals, Emerging Brand of the Year, Aide Chemist.

For Promising CEO of the Year, Amrit Pal Singh of Shalina Healthcare picked it. Promising Entrepreneur of the Year, Kofi Addo-Agyekum, CEO of Kofikrom Ltd; Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility, M&G Pharmaceuticals; Research Company of the Year-Pharma, Entrance Pharmaceuticals; Research Company of the Year-Herbal, Centre for Plant Medicine Research.

The Herbal Brand of the Year was Medimoses Clinic and Herbal Centre; Herbal Company of the Year, Centre for Plant Medicine Research; Health and Wellness Company of the Year, Max International; Herbal Product of the Year, Tinatett Venecare by Tinattet Herbal, Herbal CEO of the Year, Dr. Moses De-Gaulle Dogbatsey of Medimoses. Outstanding Leadership Award, Male Category: Dr. Audu Rauf, CEO Pharmacy Council of Ghana; Female Category, Mimi Darko, CEO of FDA.

Pharma Harrison Kofi Abutiate picked the Outstanding Contribution to the Pharma Industry. Anthony Ameka, CEO of Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy picked the Industry Leadership Award, male category while Dhananjay Tripathi, Pharmanova was named CEO of the Decade.

Gopal Vasu, M&G Pharmaceuticals was named Entrepreneur of the Decade; Setsoafia-Tukpeyi Fafali, CEO of Apex Health Insurance was named Outstanding Health Insurance CEO of the Year. Bright Simons was named Champion in Pharma Innovation and Technology

Industry Leadership Award, Female Category was Lucia Addae-Ntiri, Executive Secretary PMAG. Romana Omaboe, CEO of Adepa Pharmaceutical Limited was named Discovery of the Year; Patience Tsegah, CEO of Unicom Chemist Limited was named Excellence in Business Award; Professor Rita Akosua Dickson- Vice Chancellor of KNUST was named Woman of Excellence.

Logistics Service Provider of the Year, Health was Imperial Health Services; Financial Service Provider of the Year, Fedelity Bank; Excellence in Pharma: OTC, Unichem Ghana Limited; Best Growing Company, Adepa Pharma; Excellence in Community Pharmacy Practice, Pharma Trust; Health Insurance Provider of the Year, Acacia Health Insurance.

Best Supplier and Distributor, Tobinco Pharmaceutical; Multi-National Company of the Year, Luex Healthcare; Healthcare Provider of the Year, Sunshine Health Care Ltd; Manufacturing Company of the Year, Ernest Chemist; Product of the Year- Joint Winners: Zincovit by Indus Life Sciences Pyt Ltd and Lufart by Entrance Pharmceuticals.

Brand of the Year, Ernest Chemist; Personality of the Year, Lydia Alhassan, CEO of Lymens Medical Supply; Company of the Year, Pharmanova; CEO of the Year, Dr. Samuel Amo Tobbin, Tobinco Pharmaceuticals; Entrepreneur of the Year (The Ultimate Award), Ernest Bediako Sampong, Ernest Chemist.

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