The Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy (GNCoP) and the Pharmaceutical Importers & Wholesalers Association of Ghana (PIWA) have jointly expressed strong opposition to the government’s proposed Executive Instrument (EI) restricting the importation of some medicines. They warn that the move could lead to medicine shortages, price hikes, and job losses, and urge the government to suspend the E.I. for further consultations. GNCoP and PIWA question the criteria used to select the 142 medicines for import restriction, noting that the initial list of 116 was expanded without proper stakeholder engagement and independent technical review. They fear the list may not accurately reflect the capacity of local manufacturers to meet national demand. The groups raise concerns about the ability of local manufacturers to fulfill the needs of the entire nation immediately, highlighting a lack of data to support such claims. They emphasize the need for a proper assessment of production capabilities before restricting imports.

Restricting access to essential medicines without ensuring sufficient alternatives poses a potential health risk, especially for medications used in emergency situations. Additionally, they warn that limiting competition through import restrictions could lead to price hikes, making essential medicines less affordable for Ghanaians. This could strain the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and disproportionately impact low-income households.

Call to action.

GNCoP and PIWA urge the government to hit pause on finalizing the policy. They advocate for wider consultations with various stakeholders, including policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the public. Additionally, they emphasize the need for data collection on local production capacity and infrastructure development before implementing restrictions. As a compromise, they suggest limiting immediate restrictions to the 38 products endorsed by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).


While GNCoP and PIWA represent a significant segment of the pharmaceutical industry, proponents of the E.I. argue that it is crucial to boost local production, reduce reliance on imports, and create jobs. They emphasize the long-term benefits of a robust domestic pharmaceutical industry and highlight existing government initiatives to support local manufacturers.