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President Dr. John Magufuli has challenged the Medical Stores Department (MSD) and the business community to find ways of boosting investment in the local pharmaceutical industry to help it meet the country’s demand for medicines and medical supplies.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently after receiving a donation of 181 vehicles worth 20.75 billion/- to MSD from Global Fund, President Magufuli said it was imperative for the pharmaceutical industry to see to it that all the monies earmarked for procurement of drugs and medical supplies, in the Government budget as well as from the Global Fund, were spent locally.

“It is painful that 96 percent of 500 billion shillings dished out by the Global Fund and 269 billion shillings earmarked in our budget is spent on procurement of drugs and medical supplies from abroad, while only 4 percent of the funds is spent locally,” said President Magufuli.

He said the funds should be spent on local pharmaceutical plants to create employment and to facilitate the production of affordable drugs and medical supplies.

The President went on to direct the ministry of health to follow up on the performance of Keko Pharmaceutical Industries and to find a new investor if the current one has failed to run the plant.

Speaking at that occasion earlier, the Director General of MSD, Mr. Laurean Bwanakunu, said the donated vehicles, meant to help the country fight against HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, would greatly enable his institution cut down the cost of hiring vehicles for distributing medicines to rural areas.

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