Chamber of Pharmacy calls for VAT exemptions on pharmaceutical products

Business News of Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Source: Graphic Online

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The Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana has called for Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions on all pharmaceutical products manufactured locally or imported.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the chamber, Mr Anthony Ameka, analysis done by the chamber had revealed that prices of pharmaceutical products could see a reduction of about 15 per cent if the government granted VAT exemptions on all locally or imported products.

Speaking at a stakeholder dialogue on the VAT policy in Accra last Tuesday, he said VAT on pharmaceutical products had resulted in the high prices of the products.

The dialogue was attended by representatives of all pharmaceutical companies, including the Pharmaceutical Business Association of Ghana and the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA).

It was on the theme, “Transformational agenda: Securing the bright medium-term prospects of the economy — The impact of VAT policy on the pharmaceutical industry”.

Mr Ameka said since the pharmaceutical industry played a unique and pivotal role in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4,5,6 and 8, it was imperative for the government to support the industry.

He said the government’s decision to remove VAT on specified locally produced pharmaceuticals and some of the raw materials used in their production was not enough to address the challenges faced by the industry.

“If there is going to be any form of assistance, it must be to remove all VAT on pharmaceutical products manufactured locally or imported,” he said.

According to Mr Ameka, since its inception, the chamber had dialogued at various fora and solicited for a platform to support the pharmaceutical industry to grow.

“We realise that the challenges that today’s pharmaceutical industry faces are too broad and complex to be tackled by individuals and thus require collaborations and multi-stakeholder partnerships to address our development goals,” he stated.

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