ADDRESS BY THE MOST HON. PORTIA SIMPSON MILLER, PRIME MINISTER AT THE OFFICIAL REOPENING OF FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL ON WEDNESDAY APRIL 4, 2007


THIS IS A SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR, A TIME WHICH INVITES REFLECTION ON THE THEMES OF RESURRECTION, REBIRTH AND RENEWAL.
HERE IN JAMAICA, ON THE SPIRITUAL LEVEL, WE JOIN WITH MANY OTHER NATIONS IN CELEBRATING THE CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL OF EASTER.
ON THE PHYSICAL LEVEL, WE ARE ENJOYING OUR OWN VERSION OF SPRING – NEW LIFE APPEARING AND RAIN.
BLOSSOMS ARE IN EVIDENCE EVERYWHERE AND MANY OF OUR FABULOUS FRUITS ARE COMING INTO SEASON.
OF COURSE, AS WITH EVERYTHING ELSE, THERE IS A DOWNSIDE.
WITH ALL THE POLLEN AND BLOSSOMS AROUND, ALLERGIES ARE ALSO PREVALENT.
BUT THIS PROVIDES US WITH ONE OF THE MANY GOOD REASONS TO CELEBRATE THE RE-OPENING OF FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL.
THIS COMPANY MANUFACTURES DPH ELIXIR, A PRODUCT THAT IS WIDELY USED TO TREAT ALLERGIES.
TODAY, I WARMLY CONGRATULATE FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL ON ALMOST 50 YEARS OF STERLING SERVICE IN THE MANUFACTURE AND DISTRIBUTION OF A WIDE-RANGING MENU OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINAL PRODUCTS.
THESE INCLUDE IRON, VITAMINS, ANTIBIOTICS, ANALGESICS, ANTI-HYPERTENSIVES AND STEROIDS.
ALL ARE QUALITY PRODUCTS OF WHICH JAMAICA IS PROUD.
AS MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THIS CONSTITUENCY, I WELCOME THE RE-OPENING OF A VALUED CORPORATE MEMBER OF OUR COMMUNITY.
THIS COMPANY HAS CONTRIBUTED GREATLY TO THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF RESIDENTS.
FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL IS A COMPANY THAT IS PLAYING A VITAL ROLE IN THE DRIVE TO SAFEGUARD AND PROMOTE THE HEALTH OF THE NATION.
A HEALTHY NATION IS AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT.
THE GOAL IS FOR OUR PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY, HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE AND PROSPEROUS. IT STARTS WITH GOOD HEALTH.
THE GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA HAS A PUBLIC HEALTH OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THE PROVISION OF NATIONAL HEALTH CARE TO ALL JAMAICANS.
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO FULFILL THIS OBLIGATION WITHOUT PROVIDING ACCESS TO SAFE, EFFECTIVE DRUGS OF ACCEPTABLE QUALITY.
THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION UPHOLDS THE PRINCIPLE THAT “ACCESS TO CRITICAL DRUGS IS A HUMAN RIGHT”.
SUSTAINED HEALTH CARE INTERVENTIONS ON THE PART OF GOVERNMENT HAVE RESULTED IN JAMAICA’S HEALTH STATUS TODAY BEING COMPARABLE WITH THAT OF MANY DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.
WE ESTABLISHED LAWS AND REGULATIONS TO ENSURE THE QUALITY AND SAFETY OF BOTH IMPORTED AND LOCALLY-MANUFACTURED DRUGS.
THESE INCLUDE A GENERIC DRUG LAW WHICH ALLOWS CONSUMERS TO CHOOSE THE LESS COSTLY VERSIONS OF BRAND-NAME DRUGS.
THERE ARE PROGRAMMES TO PROTECT OUR PEOPLE AND OUR CHILDREN FROM THE DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE THREATENING COMMUNICABLE DISEASES, SUCH AS POLIO, TUBERCULOSIS, MUMPS AND SEXUALLY-TRANSMISSIBLE DISEASES.
TODAY, JAMAICA IS FREE OF MANY OF THESE DISEASES WHICH ARE STILL PREVALENT IN SOME COUNTRIES.
IN RECENT TIMES, WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED VARIOUS NATIONAL PROGRAMMES TARGETING THE MOST VULNERABLE GROUPS IN THE SOCIETY, PROVIDING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO DRUGS AND HEALTH SERVICES.
THESE INCLUDE THE NATIONAL HEALTH FUND, THE JAMAICA DRUGS FOR THE ELDERLY PROGRAMME AND A COMPASSIONATE FUND IN THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S ANNUAL BUDGET TO PROVIDE UNBIASED MEDICAL ASSISTANCE TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE PURCHASE OF MEDICATIONS THAT IS TOO COSTLY FOR THEM TO AFFORD.
THE NATIONAL HEALTH FUND IS A GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME OF WHICH WE ARE VERY PROUD.
IT PROVIDES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PERSONS SUFFERING FROM 15 SPECIFIC CHRONIC DISEASES.
THE NHF INCOPORATES THE JAMAICA DRUG FOR THE ELDERLY PROGRAMME AND THE NHF CARD PROGRAMME.
TOGETHER THEY HAVE ENROLLED, OVER 291,000 BENEFICIARIES.
THE NHF IS NOW PROVIDING OVER ONE BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY IN ASSISTANCE TO PURCHASE MEDICATION AND BENEFICIARIES USING THE NHF CARD ENJOY A REDUCTION OF 60% IN THE COST OF THEIR PRESCRIPTION.
THE SUPPORT OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IS PIVOTAL TO THE SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY OF ESSENTIAL DRUGS AND RELATED PRODUCTS IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
THIS REQUIRES COLLABORATION BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND THE INDUSTRY.
A STRONG LOCAL MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISE SUCH AS FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL EFFECTIVELY REDUCES THE BURDEN OF IMPORTATION ON THE HEALTH SYSTEM.
IT HELPS TO AVOID NUMEROUS ADMINISTRATIVE BOTTLENECKS.
AT THE SAME TIME, IT GREATLY REDUCES THE COST OF IMPORTING DRUGS, WHILE ENSURING CONTINUITY OF SUPPLY AND TIMELY ACCESS TO THE PRODUCTS.
THE PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED AND SUPPLIED BY FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL ARE MAKING A VERY IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE TO THE LIVES OF JAMAICANS.
FOR EXAMPLE, IRON AND VITAMINS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR THE PREVENTION OF IRON DEFICIENCY IN PREGNANT WOMEN. THE IRON, LIVER AND VITAMIN TABLETS PRODUCED BY THIS COMPANY AND RETAILED BY THE DOZEN ARE AVAILABLE AND AFFORDABLE AND CAN THEREFORE HELP TO EFFECTIVELY REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF THIS KIND OF ANEMIA.
THE PREVALENCE OF CHRONIC DISEASES IN OUR SOCIETY SPEAKS TO THE NEED FOR OUR LOCAL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY TO INCREASE THEIR CAPACITY TO PROVIDE THE DRUGS REQUIRED FOR TREATMENT. GIVEN OUR PRESENT LIFE EXPECTANCY AND THE GROWTH IN THE ELDERLY POPULATION, IT IS CLEAR, THAT A LARGE PORTION OF THE HEALTH BUDGET WILL HAVE TO BE ALLOCATED FOR PHARMACEUTICAL CARE.
IT IS THEREFORE TIMELY FOR LOCAL MANUFACTURERS TO BE PROACTIVE AS WELL AS INNOVATIVE IN IDENTIFYING THEIR PLACE IN THE MARKET THE INVESTMENT OF 100 MILLION DOLLARS IN MODERNIZING THIS PLANT SPEAKS TO THE COMMITMENT OF FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL TO THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY.
I AM CERTAIN THAT WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO MORE DEVELOPMENTS AS THE COMPANY CONTINUES ON ITS PATH OF SUCCESS IN JAMAICA AND THROUGHOUT THE REGION.
EVERY COMMITMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN JAMAICA’S GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IS AN ACT OF FAITH IN THIS COUNTRY.
IT IS AN EXPRESSION OF CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE OF JAMAICA.
WHEN WE ARE DEALING WITH THE ECONOMY OF A COUNTRY, CONFIDENCE BEGETS CONFIDENCE.
THIS WEEK BEGAN WITH THE GOOD NEWS COMING OUT OF THE JAMAICA BUSINESS CONFIDENCE SURVEY, WHICH SHOWED SOARING CONSUMER CONFIDENCE.
THIS IS DUE IN PART TO FALLING INTEREST RATES AND INFLATION, AND THE RELATIVE STABILITY OF THE EXCHANGE RATE.
THIS IS CONFIRMATION THAT WE MUST CONTINUE ON THE PATH OF TIGHT ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT.
WE MUST CONTINUE TO PROVIDE INVESTORS, BOTH THOSE ORIGINATING LOCALLY OR OVERSEAS, WITH CONCRETE EVIDENCE OF OUR UNSHAKEABLE COMMITMENT TO FACILITATING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.
IN THIS YEAR WHEN WE COMMEMORATE THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ABOLITON OF THE TRANSATLANTIC TRADE IN AFRICANS, AND THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR INDEPENDENCE, WE ARE CALLED UPON TO CONTINUE TO LIBERATE THIS NATION FROM MENTAL SLAVERY.
ONE OF THE WAYS TO DO THIS IS TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE FREEDOMS AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE ENJOY TODAY.
WE MUST PUT THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS IN OVERDRIVE.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS?
WE HAVE TO BE CREATIVELY EMBRACING EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO REACH OUT, TO STRETCH, TO GROW, TO CLIMB, TO VENTURE INTO NEW TERRITORIES.
WE MUST BECOME MASTERS OF THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES.
WE MUST BE BOLD AND ADVENTUROUS. WE MUST DO WHATEVER WE MUST TO BE FIERCELY INDEPENDENT, IN ALL THE WAYS WE CAN, WHILE ENGAGING IN ECONOMIC AND OTHER FORMS OF CO-OPERATION WITH OUR GLOBAL NEIGHBOURS.
WE HAVE TO SHED THE THIRD WORLD LABEL, NOT “HUG IT UP”.
WE MUST STEP INTO THE GREATER POSSIBILITY OF BEING IDENTIFIED AS PART OF A POWERFUL, CREATIVE, PRODUCTIVE TWO- THIRDS OF THE WORLD.
THIS MISSION IS ONE THAT MUST ENGAGE ALL OUR PEOPLE, WHEREVER THEY ARE PLACED AND WHATEVER THEY ARE DOING.
GOVERNMENT CANNOT DO IT ALONE.
FOR EXAMPLE, WHILE GOVERNMENT HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE PROVISION OF HEALTH CARE FOR JAMAICANS, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FULFILL THIS REQUIREMENT WITHOUT STRONG PARTNERSHIPS WITH VARIOUS SECTIONS OF THE NATIONAL COMMUNITY, SUCH AS THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE CHURCH.
THE WORD FOR TODAY IS PARTNERSHIP.
THIS FUNCTION IS A DEMONSTRATION OF PARTNERSHIP FOR THE WELL-BEING OF THE NATION.
THIS IS A TIME FOR TRUE AND STRONG PARTNERSHIPS.
WE ARE ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN THIS ENTERPRISE CALLED JAMAICA — COMMUNITIES, WORKERS, BIG BUSINESS, MEDIUM BUSINESS, SMALL BUSINESS, LOCAL AND FOREIGN INVESTORS, THE STATE, POOR PEOPLE, RICH PEOPLE.
NO SECTOR CAN BE LEFT OUT IF WE ARE TO REACH THE GOALS THAT WE HAVE SET.
EVERY SECTOR HAS TO BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED.
WE MUST JOIN FORCES TO ACHIEVE A JAMAICA THAT OFFERS HOPE AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL OUR PEOPLE.
WE NEED A VIBRANT, COURAGEOUS INNOVATIVE RESILIENT, PERSEVERING PRIVATE SECTOR, DEMONSTRATING A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT AND WILLING TO CONTINUE IN FAITH THROUGH TIMES OF ADVERSITY.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:THE REPORTS OF HIGH CONSUMER AND BUSINESS CONFIDENCE AND THE REOPENING OF FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICALS ARE VERY ENCOURAGING SIGNS.
THEY SERVE TO STRENGTHEN OUR CONFIDENCE, EVEN AS WE SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF THE DAY.
I CHOOSE TO SEE THIS AS AN ‘UP’ TIME FOR JAMAICA AND I INTEND TO OVERSEE THE OVERHAULING OF OUR SYSTEMS TO INCREASE RESPONSIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY ON THE PART OF THE STATE.
NOTHING MUST STAND IN THE WAY OF DETERMINED EFFORT TO INCREASE THE PRODUCTIVE OUTPUT OF THIS COUNTRY.
TODAY, AS I WELCOME AND CONGRATULATE YOU THE LEADERS AND TEAM MEMBERS OF FEDERATED PHARMACEUTICAL ON THE BEGINNING OF YOUR NEW CHAPTER, I FEEL PLEASED AND HOPEFUL.
THE TRUTH IS WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE.
WE CAN CHOOSE TO TALK DOWN OUR COUNTRY, DRAG DOWN EACH OTHER AND WEAKEN NATIONAL CONFIDENCE.
OR WE CAN ALL AGREE TO MAKE IT AN ‘UP’ TIME, RECOGNIZE OUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND CONFRONT OUR CHALLENGES TOGETHER WITH COURAGE AND CREATIVITY.
LET US KEEP THE CONFIDENCE HIGH, EMBARK ON NEW VENTURES, WORK, BUILD, AND MOVE FROM SUCCESS TO SUCCESS.
BY YOUR ACTIONS TODAY, YOU HAVE CLEARLY SIGNALED THE CHOICE YOU HAVE MADE.
ONCE AGAIN, MY HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS AND I HAVE THE GREATEST OF PLEASURE IN OFFICIALLY DECLARING FEDERATED PHARMACUETICAL REPOENED FOR BUSINESS.

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