16 November 2018
Government is planning on restocking NatPharm such that the country won’t have to face drug shortages in the future, a Cabinet minister has said.
Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo made these remarks yesterday in Senate while answering a question.
He said they also wanted to get to a point where the country can create its own drugs.
“NatPharm does not have enough medication but if they had enough medication we wouldn’t be having these problems, so now we want to carry out a restocking exercise, we want to fill our warehouses with medication.
“We want to reach to a point whereby we will be able to create our own drugs in the country.
“So we will also get clarity for us to be able to purchase raw materials so that we supply to our Datlabs, CAPS for them to make drugs and they supply to pharmacies across the country,” said Minister Moyo.
He said he had engaged the Ambassador of India and a memorandum of understanding was underway between the two countries.
“We get 80 percent of our medication from India and this morning I had a meeting with the Ambassador of India, I can assure you that a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between NatPharm and another company which deals with medication in India.
“This will enable NatPharm to get raw materials from India at a cheaper price so that we will be able to produce our own medication in the country,” he said.
Minister Moyo added: “The Vice-President of India has promised to avail medication to us, so hopefully the situation in the country will ease soon.”
He said the Reserve Bank was working tirelessly to make sure that it avails foreign currency to purchase drugs.
He also pleaded with pharmacies to stop charging their medication in US dollars.
“As a ministry of health, we plead with pharmacies to work with us and stop charging medication in US dollars.
“We want them to accept our bond notes, medical aid, RTGs and swipe; at the moment the RBZ does not have enough foreign currency, so we are trying to utilise the little amount of money being located to us by RBZ.
“We want to make sure that everyone who gets foreign currency uses it to the benefit of the country and purchases drugs rather than using it for personal use,” said Minister Moyo.