Ahmad Jawad Osmani, the acting minister of public health, on Saturday spoke at a ceremony marking world pharmacists' day and said that around $400 to $600 million dollars is spent annually to import medicine to Afghanistan.
“About $400 to 600 million dollars of our medicine is supplied from outside Afghanistan, which is a very large amount of capital spent from our country," said Osmani, who added that it would be far better to produce more medicine within the country.
Osmani emphasized at the ceremony that if the situation continues, it will have a major negative impact on the country's economy.
The acting minister stated that he considers the role of pharmacists important in providing health services, and he promised that he will work to produce medicines within the country and improve the capacity of pharmacists.
There is a need to begin the production of pharmacueticals, as only 15% of what is required can be made within the country.
Osmani said that medicine shortages and price imbalances are among the major challenges for the country.
“Another problem is the smuggling of a large amount of medicine, which is unfortunately outside the government system as it's taken outside of the border control of Afghanistan and supplied to the markets," Osmani stated.
“Pharmacists are key health workers that play a major role in the development of global health,” said Zhakfar, president of the Afghanistan Nationwide Pharmacy Association (ANPA).
Due to the lack of infrastructure, Afghanistan has become dependent on its neighboring countries for medicine and medical equipment.