Holzkirchen, Germany, February 24, 2014 - Sandoz officially opened its representative office in Accra, Ghana on January 23, 2014.
The ceremony was attended by healthcare professionals including pharmacists, doctors, the Ghana health service, the Ministry of health, as well as Brigitte Cuendet, the Counsellor and Head of Economic Affairs at the Swiss Embassy in Ghana, and Edith Gavor, manager of the Ghana National Drug Programme (GNDP).
Ms. Gavor read a message on behalf of the Minister of Health, Sherry Ayittey, noting that the high cost of medicines prevents many Ghanaians from enjoying quality healthcare. For this reason, the ministry is ready to collaborate with Sandoz to make medicines available and affordable to all Ghanaians, said Ms. Gavor.
“The purpose of establishing a presence in Ghana is for Sandoz to work more closely together with our partners to provide Ghanaians with quality and affordable medicines,” said Fayelle Ouane, Sandoz Country Head of Ghana. “Though Sandoz has been operating in Ghana since spring of 2013, the time is now for Sandoz to engage more closely with its customers and to contribute to improving health outcomes here.”
The Sandoz Ghana team at the new office ceremony, including Sandoz Head of West & Central Africa cluster, Annette Ake (back row, third from the left), and Fayelle Ouane, Sandoz Country Head of Ghana (front row, third from the right).
Ouane said the Sandoz portfolio in Ghana will include both essential medicines and complex, differentiated medicines, such as biosimilars. Currently the product groups available in Ghana are anti-infective and cardiovascular medicines.
“Since Sandoz started working in Accra, business has been going well. We are happy with the strong growth in 2013. In my opinion, this success is due to being close to our customers here in Ghana and delivering exactly what they want in terms of products, prices and availability,” said Ouane.
“This new office sends a strong signal that we are committed to Ghana for the long-term. We are not just here to add another Africa country to our network. We picked Ghana because we believe there is much potential here, much to do, and that we can make a difference.”
Sandoz further showed its commitment to Ghana by sponsoring a pharmacovigilance training for pharmacists at the teaching hospital in Accra. The WHO Collaboration Centre for Advocacy and Training in Pharmacovigilance conducted the training, with financial support from Sandoz. The 30 pharmacists received training on adverse drug identification, monitoring and reporting.
Brigitte Cuendet, Counsellor and Head of Economic Affairs at the Swiss Embassy in Ghana, applauded the long-standing relationship between Switzerland and Ghana and predicted that, like Switzerland, Sandoz would have a stable and reliable relationship with its partners in Ghana.
Sandoz Head of West & Central Africa cluster, Annette Ake, said Ghana is where Sandoz has had the most patient reach in the region. She called on Sandoz staff and their partners in the country to work together so that “tomorrow can be better for all of us.”