BUBU policy extended to drugs, Uganda increases tax on imports

BUBU policy extended to drugs, Uganda increases tax on imports
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The Ministry of Health, like other Government Agencies, under the presidential investor Round Table has been tasked to support domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers in doing business in Uganda, Health minister Sarah Opendi has revealed.

The new development is meant to supporting domestic production of human and veterinary medicines and health care products will reduce reliance on imports, and contribute towards national, development aspirations of industrialization as provided for in the current vision 2040, the NRM manifesto, the health Sector Development Plan (2015- 2020) National Pharmaceutical Sector Strategic Plan (2016 – 2021), and the National Drug Authority Strategic Plan (2016 – 2021).

Minister Opendi told journalists on Monday that effective August 1st, 2017, the Government of Uganda will increase verification fees from 2% to 12% on 37 selected medicines that are locally manufactured. These include A moxillin, Albendazole, Dextrose Infusion, Paracetamol, Oral Rehydration Salts to mention but a few. This selection was made following the Ministry of Health and NDA’s assessment of the domestic manufacturers’ capacity to sufficiently meet the demand for the 37 selected medicines.

The impact of the increase in verification fees is to discourage importation of locally manufactured drugs, and also support the growth of our economy. Upon assessment of the country’s needs, what is produced locally is adequate to meet our demands as a country and meets the National Quality Standards.

The fees for donor funded commodities will remain at 2%.

“President Museveni recently tasked Ministry of Health to promote Local Pharmaceutical manufacturing and attract more pharmaceutical manufactures to set up industries in Uganda,” Opendi said.

She explained this will not only promote access to safe, efficacious and quality medicines for our population, but create linkages to other sectors like packaging, construction and others. In addition, the presence of local manufacturing industries will also create jobs for the hundreds of jobless youth and ensure that Uganda is self-sustaining in terms of Pharmaceutical products.

“Now, the Ministry of Health has also tasked the National Drug Authority to establish a rigorous post market surveillance system which will ensure that all the medicines on the market, both imported and locally manufactured are closely monitored for safety, efficacy and quality,” Opendi explained.

“With these measures, I would like to assure all Ugandans that the availability of safe efficacious and good quality medicines will not in any way be compromised. The Government is committed to providing the highest possible standard of health care to all people of Uganda.”

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