Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor | Wed, 04/30/2008 1:10 PM
The state minister of youth and sports affairs, Adhyaksa Dault, said Tuesday that Indonesia should not become a "universal trash bin" for other countries' medicinal drugs.
"We need professional pharmacists so the country can stop importing drugs," he said at the opening of a pharmaceutical vocational high school in Bogor.
The minister argued if Indonesia could produce qualified pharmacy experts, the country would probably produce its own medication in the future.
"We don't want Indonesia to be a place other countries use to dump their products.
"We probably won't be importing drugs in the future. Instead, we will probably produce our own medicine," said the minister.
He also said the price of imported drugs in Indonesia was six to seven times their actual value.
Gartono, head of the foundation that oversees the vocational high school, Yasan 84, said education was an investment for the future.
"Indonesia needs people who are experts in their fields to be able to compete with other countries," he said.
The pharmaceutical vocational high school, which currently has 150 students, was established in 2002. (lva)