Some governments not only regulate, but also manufacture, purchase and distribute drugs.
Cuba, Cyprus, Tunisia and Venezuela have government pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities operating as public enterprises. Cuba has over 50 pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities throughout the country. In Cyprus, the Pharmaceutical Laboratory has a manufacturing unit that is responsible for producing and repacking drugs for use in public hospitals and pharmacies. As stated above, products manufactured by the Laboratory do not need to be registered. The Ugandan Government undertakes manufacturing through its sole pharmaceutical public enterprise-the National Enterprises Corporation. Tunisia, by contrast, has a number of public enterprises that manufacture pharmaceuticals. In Venezuela, too, various Government organizations are responsible for producing various types of products for the health service.
The Australian and Malaysian governments currently do not undertake pharmaceutical manufacturing. Formerly, the Australian Government owned the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, but it privatized this operation in the early 1990s. Similarly, the Malaysian Government ended its role in pharmaceutical manufacturing in 1993. In view of the trend towards privatization of public enterprise, more governments can be expected to follow the examples of Australia and Malaysia.