Health is a major challenge for Africa where HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, and a myriad of other diseases, kill millions of people each year. This terrible human cost is a major factor that impeded the continent’s efforts to escape poverty. Many deaths could be prevented with timely access to appropriate and affordable medicines.
Health is also a very important prerequisite to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since the year 2000 substantive amounts of money have become available through international organizations such as The Global Fund to increase access to life-saving drugs.
The UNIDO project Strengthening the local production of essential generic drugs in developing countries aims at the expansion and upgrading of small and medium sized enterprises in selected developing countries, mainly in Africa and in Asia for the local manufacturing of essential generic drugs.
The objective of the project is enhancing access of the poor to these drugs at affordable prices.
Developing countries face many challenges in local production of essential medicines and to work through the challenges the project is pursued through a combination of advisory, promotional, institutional capacity-building and enterprise-level activities.
The project facilitates and moderates public-private dialogue processes on the development of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. The Multi-stakeholder Round tables work towards a joint strategy for the development of the sector. Currently, such strategy development processes are ongoing in Ghana and Kenya.
The project assists pharmaceutical manufacturers by working with relevant institutions. Services range from specialized courses in industrial pharmacy to business membership organizations, conducting advocacy activities on behalf of member companies. The project also provides support to medicines regulatory authorities and quality control laboratories.
The project assists companies in assessing feasibility and economic viability of the production of quality medicines. If this is established a number of advisory services and training measures can be provided. These training measures of production staff and technical advice on production technology help companies to target international standards.