• Friday, June 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

IFC, Fidson partner to bridge gap in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical production capacity

Here’s what to know as Fidson eyes N20bn capital raise

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets and Fidson healthcare – a leading pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Nigeria has partnered to bridge the gap in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical production capacity through the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

This was made known in a press statement made available to BusinessDay where it was stated that Nigeria and most other sub-Saharan African countries are heavily reliant on imported pharmaceuticals to drive production activities.

The outbreak of the pandemic exposed several vulnerabilities in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector, giving greater urgency to the need for a well-developed pharmaceutical sector as well as the need for international partnerships, said the statement.

“Nigeria and much of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa are heavily reliant on imported pharmaceuticals, but the region has untapped potential to become a hub for pharmaceutical production, now is the time to step up investment and efforts to create an enabling environment for Africa’s pharmaceutical manufacturing development so the continent can better respond to its health needs,” Makhtar Diop, managing director, IFC said.

He added that Africa lags other parts of the world in pharmaceutical ingredient production, leaving it dependent on imports for about 70 percent of the medicines it needs. “By contrast, in China and India, drug imports average only about 5 percent and 20 percent, respectively.”

Through the partnership, both organizations will conduct a feasibility study to assess the level of investment, skills, and regulatory protocols required to develop Nigeria’s manufacturing capabilities for APIs, which are integral to the production of pharmaceuticals.

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The results of the feasibility study will inform the strategic and operational direction that Fidson will take as it pursues its longer-term goal of becoming an end-to-end pharmaceutical producer that produces APIs for use in its production process, as well as being a supplier to other pharma companies.

“Fidson sees a strong case for expanding into API production to increase the availability of pharmaceuticals and close the gaps caused by supply chain disruption, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, across Western Africa and the African continent at large,” Fidelis Ayebae, chief executive officer (CEO), Fidson Healthcare Plc said.

He added that the project will be transformational and will ultimately result in the stable supply of high-quality, affordable APIs for critical product segments, adding that the company’s history of commitment to quality finished product footprint presents an ideal fit for backward integration.

Through it’s API everywhere program, IFC is working alongside pharmaceutical companies globally to accelerate their ability to manufacture quality APIs at a low cost. Currently, Fidson Healthcare Plc has over 200 products for different things such as anti-infective, gastrointestinal, antiretroviral, anti-malarial, cardiovascular, analgesic, haematinics and supplements among others.