This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 8/3/2017

According to a 2009 report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Uganda has a total of 19 sites licensed for the manufacture of medicines and health supplies although only 11 of these were involved in commercial production of pharmaceuticals. Four of the 11 manufacturers operate on a large scale (100 or more employees), six on a medium scale (between 31 and 99 employees), and one operates on a small scale (between six and 30 employees).  The local pharmaceutical industry contributes about 0.18 percent of GDP, employs about 1,216 people and exported medicines and health supplies worth about $3.1 million in 2008.
Challenges include:

  • Technology, machinery and the associated high skilled expertise are still sourced from outside Uganda.
  • Uganda’s pharmaceutical sector depends on importing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and almost all excipients and some packaging materials.
  • Few Ugandan pharmaceutical manufacturers have automated production processes.
  • High operating cost for manufacturers relying on backup generators.
  • Licensed cold and dry storage facilities to hold APIs prior to final production. 

Health Sector Stats





Medical and Pharmaceutical product exports (USD)





Medical and Pharmaceutical product imports (USD)





Leading Sub-Sectors
Pharmaceutical manufacturing: While Uganda’s pharmaceutical industry has developed significantly over the last 10 years, Uganda still imports 90 percent of its essential medicines and health supplies (EMHS) needs.  Nonetheless, in early 2010, one manufacturing site manufacturing Anti-Retroviral (ARV) and Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACT), received the World Health Organization’s (WHO) good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing:  Based on Uganda’s strong demand for medical services and the GOU’s favorable tax policies for manufacturing facilities, manufacturing generic pharmaceuticals remains a profitable opportunity for investors.

Web Resources
Ministry of Health
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization Pharmaceutical Sector Profile for Uganda
The Global Fund Pharmaceutical Sector Country Profile for Uganda

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Uganda Biopharmaceuticals Trade Development and Promotion