Addis Ababa September 16/2022 (ENA) Ministry of Health and Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Service (EPSS) have called on investors to enhance their engagement in local production of pharmaceuticals for improved access to medicine in the country.

International Pharmaceuticals Suppliers’ Conference was held today in Addis Ababa.

In her keynote speech read to the conference participants, Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said an efficient pharmaceuticals supply chain system and availability of adequate pharmaceuticals is crucial and vital to attain the health transformation goals of the country.

In this regard, EPSS is one of the key institutions in the country’s health system that has played an indispensable role to the achievement of the health sector goals in reducing morbidity and mortality that result from communicable and non-communicable diseases through securing and sustaining affordable and quality assured pharmaceuticals, she added.

The minister stressed the need for strong collaboration among stakeholders to further improve pharmaceuticals supply chain, enhance the business relationship of EPSS with its suppliers,  understand the challenges faced while working together, and set common solutions to address challenges.

Besides creating strong collaboration with pharmaceuticals suppliers, the Government of Ethiopia encourages business persons to invest in manufacturing pharmaceuticals in the country, she pointed out.

Dr. Lia underscored that it is high time that the government gives emphasis for the manufacturing sector in general and local pharmaceutical manufacturing in particular.

Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Service Director-General, Abdulkedir Gelgelo said the limited number of registered suppliers has been the biggest challenge in finding competitive bidders, suppliers, and supply chain.

According to him, the supplier base of EPSS is almost limited and some of the products have limited suppliers circulated in the market.

He urged pharmaceutical organizations to take the opportunity and engage in exporting and importing medicines and medical supplies as well as to join the manufacturing sector by understanding the government’s encouragement to support the pharmaceuticals sector, preferably through local manufacturing or registration under Ethiopian Food and Drug Authority to widen the supply base for sustainable pharmaceuticals supply chain of the country.

Ethiopian Food and Drug Authority Director-General, Heran Gerba said that the authority has done a lot of legal frameworks, reform organizational structures, improvement of regulatory process through digitalization, creation of pathways for market authorization of health product, medicine testing laboratory, among others, for improving access and efforts to ensure quality and safety of health products.

The authority has also set a strategy to promote pharmaceuticals production with strong regulatory system of high maturity level, she added, noting that it is extensively working to build quality management system on regulatory functions.

The one-day International Pharmaceuticals Suppliers’ Conference is aimed at attracting manufacturers and suppliers into the Ethiopian pharmaceuticals market by addressing bottlenecks and improving the in-country supply chain operations through strengthening business partnership with suppliers across the globe.

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