Domestic medical firms seeking government support for investments

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: Afghan private medical companies exhibited their products in the 4th Medical Exhibition in Kabul on Tuesday. Most of them had concerns that the government is not supporting their investments and products which is the main reason why too much medicine is being imported annually.
Yonus Mohmand, the deputy of ACCI, said, “private sectors have invested millions in this industry, yet the government is not supporting them.”
Meanwhile, the medical advisor of the president Mr. Rezwanullah Ahmadi, rejected these claims and said, “Government has helped a lot, but until the private sectors do not manage their works well, this problem will not be solved.”
The main concern of the private sector is that the government is not including them in the contracts.
Medicine has been one of the key imports of the country. Annually, most of the medicine in Afghanistan are imported from Pakistan, India, Turkey, and Dubai.
Medicines worth more than $600 million is imported into the country annually despite a surge in domestic production from five to eight percent. According to officials of the Ministry of Public Health, drugs were imported from 29 countries, including the US, Turkey, Switzerland, Japan, India, Iran and Pakistan.
In the past, they recalled, 95 percent of medicines were imported, But the import level has now dropped to 92 percent, with eight percent produced domestically. The raw materials are purchased from India and China.
According to the ministry, medicine worth more than $600 million was imported — mostly from China, Iran, India and Pakistan — every year. The imported drugs are checked by the ministry’s departments for quality and efficacy.
Currently, near 25 pharmaceuticals are active in Kabul, Nangarhar, Herat, Kandahar and Balkh provinces. They are manufacturing 120 kinds of drugs, including vitamins, anti-acid, paracetamol and others. Producing such medicine requires less efforts and facilities. Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that although many investments in medicine production by private sectors inside the country have been done, the Afghan government has not supported them yet.

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