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Nigerian Drug Market Veritable For International Competition

Posted: Sep 13, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Yinka Shokunbi Lagos

The drug manufacturers came from far and near, not less than 130 exhibitors from Asia, Africa, America and Europe were on hand to showcase their products and machineries as well as exchange business ideas during the three day 3rd Nigeria Pharma Manufactures Expo which ended last Thursday in Lagos.

It was an occasion where indigenous and multinationals drug manufacturers were able to rub minds on the challenges and prospects of the drug industry in the country as well as wok out the potentials available in exporting the industry at the international arena.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), Okey Akpa described the expo as an annual arena for opportunities to stakeholders in the health sector to exchange information, products, services and ideas towards achieving the health related goals and other developmental initiatives in the Nigeria and West African region.

He noted that the theme of the event, ‘The Nigerian Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry and International Competitiveness’  “was carefully chosen to ventilate the vision of the Nigerian spirit and to make a statement that the Nigerian Pharma Industry is positioned to operate at the global level”.

Although bedevilled by some challenges such as lack of interest in research and development due to lack or insufficient funding, enabling infrastructure and environment, the Nigerian drugindustry says the chairman is still currently, “the biggest pharmaceutical manufacturing country in West Africa accounting for more than 65% of loca manufacture of medicines relevant to the people and diseases of our nation and region such as  antimalarial medicines, antiretroviral meidicnes for HIV/AIDS, herbal medicines and medicines for sickle cell diseases among others”, said Akpa.

He pointed out that as part of the opportunities opened to the internatonal market, foru Nigerian companies are ready to do international business having been certified by the World Health organisation and have gone to process expression of interest with the WHO for pre-qualification products. The companies he listed include Swiss Pharma Nigeri, Chi Pharmaceuticals, Evans Medical Plc and May and Baker Nigeria Plc.

Akpa also announced to the international community that the Nigerian local drug companies have succeeded in developing and manufacturing registered products for the United Nations Commission on Life saving commodities such as Zinc Sulphate and Oral Rehydration Solutions in managing Diarrhoea, Chlorhexidine gel to manage cord infection and Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablets.

Apart from the four companies listed to supply WHO pre-qualified drugs, some companies met with the International Standards Organisation requirements and are recognised for their high standards in manufacturing processes, Akpa also disclosed.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (PHCDA) Dr Kayode Oguntimehin, urged the local drug manufacturers to step up in the research to local raw materials to take care of indigenous ailments and possibly develop vaccines to tackle some of the immune deficiency diseases.

He said, Lagos state government is ready and willing to partner with the local drug manufacturers to explore the potentials available in the state towards meeting sustainable drug needs of the people.

Director General National Agency of Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr Paul Orhii, urged the international community to take advantage of the local drug manufacturing environment to invest in the distribution channels which government has initiated to streamline good network process.

He said, efforts to tackle fake and counterfeiting of drugs in the country has yielded good result in the area of antimalarial drugs because of the us of the mobile authentic system and short message system which enables consumers detect if drugs bought are fake or not at the point of purchase.

He said, once the effort to engage the private sector invest in the building of warehouses to streamline drug distribution network scales through, the agency would move to dismantle all open drugs markets to put an end to drug counterfeiting in the country.