The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) and the Nigerian Representatives of Overseas Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NIROPHARM) have congratulated the management of Miraflash Pharmaceuticals, following the successful commission of its new factory in Ogun State.
The colourful event, which was held on 16 December 2015, attracted top government functionaries, patent medicine dealers, clergymen, community leaders, as well as several industrial, community and hospital pharmacists. While congratulating Pharm. Moses Oluwalade, managing director of the company, NIROPHARM’s vice chairman, Femi Soremekun, disclosed that all members of the association were proud of the achievement.
“Oluwalade is one of us. NIROPHARM rejoices with him. In particular, we are happy with his doggedness and determination to go through the rigour of setting up this factory. It is not easy. We wish him all the very best. And for those of us still hoping to set up a similar factory, he has set the pace for us to follow,” he said.
Sharing the same sentiments, Pharm Seye Agboola, chairman of Dortemag Pharmaceuticals, described the commissioning of the manufacturing plant as a great initiative.
“Among other things, it will help to absort people from the labour market. It will also motivate people to start seeing local manufacturing as the future of pharmaceuticals in the country. This is the time we hope the government can wake up to its responsibility by putting stable power, good roads and infrastructure in place. I wish Miraflash the best of luck,” he noted.
Also speaking at the event was Dr Lolu Ojo, former NAIP chairman, who admitted that the timing of the factory unveiling came to him as a surprise, given prevailing economic challenges.
“I congratulate the management and staff of Miraflash. It is a good thing. I must admit that it came to me as surprise because, in truth, this is a trying period when many companies are folding up. But for an indigenous manufacturing company to come up with a factory as big as this is indeed no mere feat. I congratulate the host State (Ogun), PSN, NAIP and Nigerians at large,” he remarked.
Ojo, who is also the managing director of Merit Healthcare Limited, Isolo, Lagos, started that the arrival of Miraflash plant would add to the growing list of local manufacturing companies, as well as benefit the country with quality products and employment creation.
In his welcome address, Prof. Ayo Arije, a consultant physician at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, educated the audience on the importance of pharmaceutical products where health is concerned.
“When you talk about drugs, we are discussing things that have a lot to do with the human life. It demands quality. It is even more important to engage a company that can deliver such quality,” he stressed.
The physician recalled that there was a time that his institution placed restriction on some drugs because the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing them were inconsistent in terms of quality control, adding that the country had gone beyond the stage of mediocrity and ignorance.
“In the past, we focused too much on witchcraft, where chronic diseases and illnesses were concerned. Thank God that such ignorance has been done away with. Nigeria is a developing country where making drugs revolves around availability and affordability. Let us continue to support local manufacturing companies like Miraflash,” he urged.
In his words of exhortation, Pastor Magnus Maduka, of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Province 64, admonished the staff to sustain whatever they had done to bring the company to such enviable level.
While expressing his gratitude, Pharm Moses Oluwalade, Miraflash’s managing director, who described the launch as “an event of joy,” expressed optimism about the future of local manufacturing companies in the country.
“We are also particularly grateful to both the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for their invaluable support” he said.
According to him, Miraflash, as at 2005, was only involved in the local manufacturing of four oral dry suspension powders which, include: Miramox (Amoxycillin), Miraclox (Ampiclox), Mirapicin (Ampicillin) and Cephaflash (Cephalexin) 125miligrammes.
He noted, however, that through hard work and purpose-driven management, Miraflash Nigeria Limited had made tremendous progress with the introduction of a capsule line at the newly commissioned factory.
Approval for the new range of capsules was given by both the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN). “Today, the company sells over 37 high quality products at affordable prices all over Nigeria” he said
Speaking further, Oluwalade declared that Miraflash was one of two pharmaceutical companies selected in Nigeria by Standford Seed Innovation Programme (West Africa) in March 2015 for transformation of developing economies through the scaling of medium to large companies by intensive training and development of manpower and structural capacity.
The programme has enabled the company as a medium-sized company to establish some set goals to be achieved within five to ten years. He, however, called on the government to tackle the issue of the current prohibitive interest rate of commercial banks as no manufacturer can survive with an interest rate above 10 per cent.
The pharmacist urged pharmaceutical companies not to compromise on the quality of their products, while also urging pharmacists to embrace the use of new technologies, especially in checking the incidence of fake drugs.
“What we did in our own case is to adopt the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) technology to help consumers verify the genuineness of the products they are buying.
“Anytime you buy our products and text the number on the scratch card, you will immediately receive an alert telling whether the drug is genuine or fake. Every pharma manufacturer producing antibiotics and antimalarial has that responsibility,” he emphasised.
The highlights of the event included the unveiling of Miraflash brands and a media tour of the factory which was led by the managing director and other distinguished pharmacists in the manufacturing industry.
In attendance were Pharm Ade Popoola, director of Reals Pharmaceutical; Pharm Ademola Adeoti, managing director of Synergy Healthcare Limited; Olakunle Olufisayo, Miraflash’s general manager (sales); Olufemi Odunayo, area manager and Yusuf Olukule, assistant national sales manager.