The Pharmaceutical Industry in Ghana dates to the late Fifties when Ghana embarked on an industrialization programme as the basis for its economic development. Both Multinational companies and local entrepreneurs were encouraged to establish factories.
Danafco started producing such commonly used over-the-counter (OTCs) drugs such as Aspirin, APC and Chloroquine Phosphate. Chloroquine Phosphate was produced under a licence granted by Dumex, a pharmaceutical company based in Denmark.
The former UAC, now Unilever, through its subsidiary company, A. J. Seward was also producing at the time a useful product for the treatment of round worm infestation particularly in children. It also packaged under licence for distribution in Ghana the Contraceptive Pill which had then only been introduced into the world market.
A.J. Seward, like Danafco were both P P and D (Perfumery Pomades and Drugs) Companies and were not essentially drug focused Companies. Manufacture of Drugs in Ghana was given a boost when the plant and machinery installations of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation, one of the many parastatal companies conceived during the first Republic, were completed in 1969 and production started in early 1970.
Overnight, commonly used essential drugs which were previously, solely imported were in our Hospitals, Clinics and Drug Stores, and being used in our homes. These include the two popular forms of Chloroquine then known as Resochin and Nivaquine as well as Anti-infective drugs such as Tetracycline, Penicillin, Ampicillin and Chloramphenicol. The list also included Drugs for Tuberculosis, Drugs for Diabetes, Hypertention, and many more. These were mostly in the form of tablets and capsules. In addition, the State Pharmaceutical Corporation, later to be renamed as GIHOC pharmaceuticals ltd also produced injectable preparations including Chloroquine injections, of great use in the treatment of malaria in children, water for injection previously imported in large quantities and such useful drugs as Aminophyllin and Adrenaline, for Asthma, Atropine for surgical operations, Ergometrine for the control of bleeding after child birth and many other useful products.