Regional pharmaceuticals want incentives for local production

Wednesday August 19 2015

By Dorothy Nakaweesi


East African pharmaceutical manufacturers have asked for harmonisation of some incentive frameworks to promote local production in the region.

Through their umbrella organisation, Federation of the East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (FEAPM), the group wants a uniform preferential margin of 20 per cent for all regionally produced medicines and medical devices in public tenders.
While meeting East African Community secretary general Richard Sezibera in Arusha, Tanzania, last week, FEAPM members led by chairperson Nazeem Mohamed said the implementation of the incentive framework would lead to the growth of local production.

“In turn, employment generation, opportunities for highly skilled labour force, reduction of substandard and counterfeit products, creation of high value industry and attraction of investments and financial viability, improved skills and technology transfer, creation of backward/forward linkages and import savings and export earnings,” Mr Mohamed said.

Mr Sezibera, on the other hand, emphasised the need to have well-structured incentive frameworks that would meet the market requirements and allow for growth of enterprises in the East African Community.

What the law says
Article 35 of the Common Market Protocol imposes no duties on imports of raw and packing material, pharmaceutical manufacturing related equipment as well as spare parts for this equipment acquired by local manufacturers registered in the EAC; and classification or import restrictions for finished pharmaceutical products that can be produced locally, based on regional capacity and quality audits of local manufacturers.