Accra, 20th February 2024

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), led by its president, Pharm. Dr. Samuel Kow Donkoh, conducted a working visit to three local pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Accra yesterday. This is the first of series of such visits the President and his team has scheduled to express the Society’s support for local pharmaceutical production.The delegation visited Ernest Chemist, Sanbao Pharmaceuticals, and Atlantic Life Sciences to gain firsthand knowledge of their operations, technology, and production capacity.

Accompanying the President were several  members of the Governing Board, including  the Executive Secretary, Rev. Dennis Sena Awitty, Hon. Treasurer, Pharm. Dr. Naana Aboagye Asare, the Editor, Pharm. Dr. Harry Amoaning Okyere, Greater Accra regional Chair, Pharm. Stephen Bonnah, GHOSPA chairperson, Pharm. Dr. Emmanuel Owiafe, Northern regional Chairperson, Pharm. Dr. Amos Adapalala Bugri, CPPA chairperson, Pharm. Dr. Emmanuel Ireland, Upper East Regional Chair, Pharm. Dr. Salifu Yandaog Kombat, Brong Ahafo regional Chairperson, Pharm. Mark Sey Olichey, as well as Pharm. Dr. Anna Naa Kwarley Quartey, General Secretary of PSGH-GAR.

Ernest Chemists Limited (ECL)

The PSGH delegation began their tour at Ernest Chemists Limited (ECL), where the Plant Manager, Pharm. Nana Yaw Nyarko-Sefa, provided insights into the company’s history and current capacities. Established in 1986, ECL’s manufacturing division commenced operations in 2001 and currently employs 359 staff, including 5 pharmacists. ECL’s annual production capacity includes 80 million units of capsules, 6 million units of liquids, 500 million units of tablets, and 23 million units of powders. Notably, the company has reserve capacity for contract manufacturing and already produces eight products for Exeter Pharmaceuticals.

An upcoming ultra-modern facility in Klagon, fully compliant with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), is set to increase ECL’s manufacturing capacity by at least 300%.

Sandbao Pharmaceuticals

The PSGH delegation then visited Sandbao Pharmaceuticals, where Pharm. Yaw Obeng, the Superintendent Pharmacist cum QA Manager, highlighted the company’s focus on local production of intravenous infusions. Sandbao’s operational capacity ranges from 3 to 5 million bags per annum, with an installed capacity of 15 million bags. The company plans to install a new filling line, enhancing its soft bottle primary packaging type and subsequently increasing capacity.

Atlantic Life Sciences (ALS)

The final leg of the visit took the PSGH Governing Board to Atlantic Life Sciences (ALS), recognized as the leading sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Ghana. ALS specializes in producing various sterile dosage forms, including Large Volume Parenterals, Eye/Ear/Nasal drops, biological products, vaccines, and inhalational anaesthetic solutions.

Pharm. Smart Bediakoh, ALS’s QA Manager, and Mr. David Klutse, the Chief Operations Officer, showcased the company’s state-of-the-art facilities. ALS’s Large Volume Parenteral manufacturing unit boasts cutting-edge clean room facilities, including Rommelag Blow-Fill-Seal machines with a combined capacity of 200,000 bottles per day. The Ophthalmic production line has an installed capacity of 264,000 vials per day, making ALS one of the largest sterile manufacturing companies in West Africa. ALS currently employs 5 Ghanaian Pharmacists and plans to engage the services of more pharmacists to augment their technical team.

Mr. Dhananjay Tripathi, the Chief Executive Officer of ALS, emphasized their objectives of partnering with health service providers, focusing on quality and research, and delivering high-quality global products within reach in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa.

PSGH President’s Comments

Expressing his satisfaction with the GMP compliant facilities, PSGH President, Pharm. Dr. Samuel Kow Donkoh, urged manufacturers to collaborate with other stakeholders through contract manufacturing agreements. He encouraged more importers to take advantage of the excess capacity and consider producing their brands locally. In addition, emphasizing the importance of the newly launched PSGH Research Fund. Dr. Donkoh called for support to ensure that decisions within the Pharma sector are grounded in data and evidence.

The working visit demonstrates the PSGH’s commitment to supporting local local manufacturing in line with the Society’s 10-year strategic plan.