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What to know about MeCure, the company set to produce Nigeria’s first antibiotics

What to know about MeCure, the company set to produce Nigeria’s first antibiotics

Mecure Industries Plc, a pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, has revealed that it has secured approval from the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to launch the production of the first locally manufactured alternative Amoxicillin-Clavulanic acid tablets, Amoxyclav 625mg in the first quarter of 2024.

According to a statement from the company, production commenced during Q1 and NAFDAC’s final approval to transition the product’s sourcing status from “import” to “locally produced” was obtained on April 30, paving the way for sales of the product to commence.

In Q1, MeCure’s revenue increased to N8.1 billion, a 47 percent rise from N5.5 billion in Q1 2023.

The growth was attributable to a combination of an increase in the average unit prices of products reflective of ongoing macro and industry dynamics and higher volumes sold.

“This growth underscores successful market penetration by MeCure through effective marketing and increased regional penetration.”

Its after-tax profit also increased to N641 million from N398.8 million. Cost sales increased to N5.4 billion from N3.6 billion while Gross profit also increased to N2.7 billion from N1.9 billion.

Its marketing expenses increased to N244.5 million from N205.9 million while Administrative expenses increased to N771.4 million from N669 million.

History of Mecure Industries

Mecure is a member of the Mecure Group and has four sister companies – Mecure Healthcare Limited (engaged in diagnostics), Mecure Infraproject Limited, Mecure Smart Buy Limited, and Mecure Wecare Limited.

However, the company was incorporated on March 16, 2005 as a private limited liability company and commenced operations on August 17, 2005.

It manufactures drugs (tablets, capsules, and syrups) in Nigeria under two categories; Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals.

The Pharmaceuticals segment comprises forty-one drugs such as Ebu 200 & 400 (ibuprofen tablets), Laclox (an ampiclox formulation), Lamox (an amoxicillin formulation), and Lampicin (an ampicillin formulation), used in treating different ailment.

The Nutraceuticals segment consists of 100 products including multivitamins and dietary supplements, the majority of which are imported from Youthberry (an American supplement manufacturing company).

While the Nutraceuticals segment is largely a trading line, the Company produces its pharmaceutical drugs (predominantly branded generics) with support from its research and development team at its factory at Debo Industries Compound, Oshodi, Lagos State.

Read also: Nigeria nears first locally produced antibiotic as MeCure gets NAFDAC’s nod

The Company’s products and services include acute ailment medication, chronic ailment medication, nutraceuticals, multivitamins, and a planned expansion into chemotherapy medication.

In NAFDAC’s list of inspected local pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, Mecure Industries appears as the 112th company inspected by NAFDAC in 2020. Its head office which is the production center is located in the southwest area of Lagos State.

Mecure owns four depots in Anambra, Abia, Lagos, and Kano States due to wider customer acceptance and less competition in those markets and a distribution network consisting of over 100 distributors that facilitate the circulation of the Company’s products across Nigeria.

The Company recently introduced mobile applications such as the Smart Pill and Smart Buy applications under its Direct2Retail strategy to promote production distribution. These applications serve as online pharmacies that facilitate easy purchase and delivery of Mecure’s products to retail customers in urban cities.

It imports more of its production inputs from India and China in previous years due to the limited availability of the required raw materials locally but has now established its own Beta-lactam plant for production.

Market sizing and Value Chain Analysis for generic antibiotics

According to the Nigeria Health Sector Study Report (2022), estimates of the size of the pharmaceutical market in Nigeria vary significantly.

“In 2009, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) estimated the size of the total pharmaceuticals and healthcare products market is $2 billion annually,” the statement said.

It said the estimated market for prescription ethical pharmaceuticals is $500 million and that for OTC pharmaceuticals is about $900 million.

Furthermore, PMG-MAN estimates the Nigerian market for biological products including vaccines, insulin, and interferon to be worth about $100 million while related healthcare and lifestyle products account for about $500 million.

India, the largest market for generic antibiotics

Medical tourism is fast becoming a culture among many Nigerians due to the deplorable state of the health care system in Nigeria.

“Every month, almost 5,000 people leave the country for various forms of treatment abroad when such treatment should have been carried out in Nigeria. About $1.3 billion is lost to medical tourism yearly which could have been invested in the development of the country’s health care system,” the report said.

According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers report (2016), 60 percent of Nigeria’s medical tourism spend goes to four key specialties: oncology, orthopedics, nephrology, and cardiology and that is nearly 20 percent of the total government spending on the public health sector for the year.

India is a major market for medically challenged Nigerians who can afford or are compelled by the fate of ill health to seek medical attention outside the country.

According to the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, 18,000 (47 percent) of Nigerians who visited India in 2012 alone did so for medical treatments at an estimated cost of $260 million.

“The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the trajectory of this market’s dynamics. Nigerians have now been compelled to look inward for a way of domesticating medical tourism,” it said.