It has come to my knowledge that Toskani Pharma Company Gambia Ltd based in Brikama came to the Gambia almost ten years ago; [since September 2006] with the intention of investing in manufacturing of drugs for the health sector. They have established a factory in Brikama where samples of the drugs they wanted to deal in were produced. The samples were said to have been sent to Ministry of Health who sent them to Geneva for testing to ascertain their authenticity. The result was said to be positive, meaning the drugs are real and not fake drugs. The company was since then awaiting to be issued with a production and sales license to be fully operational.
This company on few occasions was given temporal license for production without sales license which means that they can only produce the drugs but can’t market them in the country. There is a chronic shortage of drugs in our health facilities which was inherited from the APRC regime of Yahya Jammeh. This could have been prevented and or addressed if the then regime which always claimed the health sector to be its top priority area assisted and encouraged Toskani Pharm Gambia Ltd fulfill all its set out criteria’s for production and marketing.
The company by now could have gone into the production of all the essential drugs required in our health facilities. Simple drugs like intra venous fluids such as Sodium Chloride injection, Ringers Lactate Solution for injection, 5% Dextrose injection etc which are used on most of the patients admitted in our health facilities would not have been imported into the country by now. The cost of most of the essential drugs could have been less and affordable by ordinary Gambians.
The Barrow coalition government should find out why this company could not take off ten years since its arrival into the country. Let them ascertain that there is no one or interest groups [especially those already engaged in pharmaceutical business in the country] trampling them underfoot for selfish interests at the expense of the masses.
By Abu Hamza