The Cameroon government is committed to revitalizing the country's local pharmaceutical industry. While no comprehensive plan has been announced yet, the government has already taken concrete steps to address the challenges faced by domestic manufacturers. Minister of Public Health Malachie Manaouda recently visited four Cameroonian pharmaceutical companies in Douala to gain firsthand insights into their operations and identify areas for improvement. During his visits, he was presented with a range of challenges, including lengthy tax and customs procedures, slow payment of invoices by public institutions, limited access to the local market, and high production costs compared to foreign competitors.
In response to these concerns, Manaouda pledged to take immediate action to support Cameroonian pharmaceutical manufacturers. He emphasized the need to reduce the cost of local products by exempting certain inputs from taxes. He requested that industry representatives compile a list of eligible inputs, which will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance for consideration in the 2024 Finance Act currently being debated in Parliament.
He also expressed support for increasing the inclusion of local products in public procurement processes as Cameroonian manufacturers have expressed frustration with their limited access to the local market, particularly due to the prevalence of imported pharmaceutical products. While no specific commitment has been made to limiting imports, Manaouda's visit and the discussions he had with industry representatives suggest that the government is open to considering measures to promote local production.
During his field visit to Douala last week, Malachie Manaouda and his team visited the premises of Cinpharm –owned by Céléstin Tawamba’s Cadyst-Invest group, Afripharma, Primex, and Africure.
Michel Ange Nga