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Fidson healthcare foresees N4bn profit from new product pipelines

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Driven by population increase, constant upscale and sophistication of Nigeria’s healthcare delivery, Fidson Healthcare plc is set to join the nation’s intravenous infusion market as it foresees N4 billion profit from its new product pipeline (intravenous (IV) infusion and injectables lines) by 2015.

The new product pipeline, set to be manufactured at its N7bn biotech plant located in Sango Ota, Ogun State, industry watchers believe, will change the dynamics of Nigeria’s intravenous infusion market currently dominated by three major players.

Biola Adebayo, Fidson Healthcare operations director, told BusinessDay that the new biotech plant, when completed within the third quarter of 2014, is expected to manufacture pharmaceutical products whose demand is anticipated to surpass supply.

With the company currently in discussion with some pharmaceutical firms such as Sanofi (France) to carry out secondary manufacturing, Adebayo stated that its entrant into the IV infusion market will break the oligopoly through price reduction and improved product quality.

“Before now, only one pharmaceutical company had the monopoly of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) for persons living with HIV/AIDS until Fidson Healthcare commenced its own ARV manufacture.

“This drastically reduced the price of ARVs in Nigeria by more than 75 percent. We intend to break the oligopoly in the country’s IV infusion market dominated by Dana, Juhel and Unic with 5, 10 and 100mls IV infusions.

“About 8 million (five percent) of Nigeria’s 160 million people, representing those who are in the hospital, use infusions of varying volumes. The demand for IV infusion in Nigeria is huge.

“With our new biotech plant, we intend to break this oligopoly by injecting standards into the production and price reduction to make it more affordable, just like the ARVs,” Adebayo explained during a media tour to the new facility.

While the company imports 60 percent of its products and manufactures 40 percent locally, Adebayo said that the company intends to reverse this trend by 2015 by manufacturing 60 percent of its drugs locally and sourcing the remainder through imports.

Adebayo added that though multinational companies (MNCs) were returning to Nigeria years after their departure, the new biotech plant plans to fill the yawning gap of pharmaceutical needs through increased drug quality and manufacturing process.

A cursory look at Nigeria’s intravenous infusion market shows that IV infusion therapy is becoming increasingly important in overall healthcare treatment regimens as new developments in antibiotics and other medications used in areas such as chemotherapy, burn centres, and renal/peritoneal dialysis centres favour intravenous use and application.

BusinessDay Investigations show that Fidson Healthcare funded the new biotech plant, valued at over N8bn through funding from Bank of Industry (BOI), First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Guaranty Trust Bank, and Fidson Healthcare’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as well as N2bn bond expected to mature by April 2014.

It operates in Nigeria’s therapeutic market segments with its portfolio cutting across anti-infective, gastro-intestine, anti-retrovirals, anti-malarials, cardiovascular, pain relievers, haematinics, consumer goods, etc.

Index on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dated 28th March 2014 shows that Fidson Healthcare plc traded 652,180 volume of shares valued at N1,864,352 with market capitalisation at N4.5bn.

Alexander Chiejina