To reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported medicines and strengthen the fight against fake and spurious medicines, entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical sector must begin to embrace local contract manufacturing of drugs, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Nalis Pharmaceuticals Limited, Mr Onwunali Obinna, has said.
Speaking with Pharmanews in an interview recently in Lagos, the Nalis boss, whose company’s manufacturing facility located in Owerri, Imo State, started local manufacturing of medicines last December, said that contract manufacturing can significantly help to boost local manufacturing of top quality medicines and reduce the influx of fake and adulterated medicines from outside the country.
While stressing that a greater percentage of fake drugs in the country had been found to be imported, the Nalis CEO stated that local drug manufacturing, through contract manufacturing, will not only be a boost to the quantity of top quality medicines produced locally but will help reduce the quantity of imported medicines required by Nigerians, thereby reducing the nation’s dependence on imported pharmaceuticals.
Explaining further, Obinna said that by patronising local manufacturers with a strong capacity for contract manufacturing, players in the industry will be saving the huge financial outlay they would have required if they were to get companies outside the country to produce for them.
This, he said, is in addition to the fact that they will be producing their brands from sources they are sure of and whose processes can be easily verified by the regulatory agencies in the country.
He reiterated that his company, Nalis Pharmaceuticals, is one of the companies with huge contract manufacturing capacity, noting that the company presently has a strong capacity to help many local players produce their own brands of oral liquid medicines as well as tablets.
The Nalis helmsman stated that the company’s factory is not only a WHO standard plant but also a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified factory, adding that the plant has the approval of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and other regulatory agencies.
He therefore charged entrepreneurs’ in the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria to stop looking towards travelling to India and China whenever they want to engage in contract manufacturing, stressing that they can get top quality pharmaceuticals products produced for them in Nigeria by reputable and world class facilities like Nalis that have excess capacity to help meet their needs.