It was in deed an atmosphere pervaded by intellectual engagements and the cross-fertilisation of workable ideas as Bloom Public Health launched what can be described as the biggest pharmaceutical manufacturing blueprint in Africa at the Lagos Business School, KM 22, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ajah, Lagos. Tagged the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Value Chain Mapping (PMVCM), the launch witnessed an outpouring of plaudits and support from players in the pharmaceutical and health sectors.
During his annotated presentation, CEO of Bloom Public Health, Professor Chimezie Anyakora, outlined the core benefits which the implementation of the study would bring to the Nigerian pharmaceutical space, adding that one of the primary objectives of the study is to optimise the potentials of Nigeria in terms of capacity to access those basic requirements that would make its pharmaceutical landscape independent of foreign influence. He also stated that putting Nigeria at an advantaged position as far as pharmaceutical manufacturing is concerned remains a lofty goal of the study. To achieve this goal, he highlighted the roles government, manufacturers, investors and regulators would have to play.
Speaking via Zoom, President of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSSA), Dr Anthony Ikeme, bemoaned Nigeria’s perennial dependence on foreign countries for its pharmaceutical raw materials, adding that such a scenario makes the country powerless in the scheme of things. He lamented the sad reality of India and China controlling the Nigerian pharmaceutical market. As a way forward out of this precarious situation, he said: “We need a deliberate plan and strategy to mitigate against the risks of relying on other countries for APIs and expertise”. With a strong base of community pharmacists in the United States, Ikeme believes that the country possesses the necessary expertise to catalyse the process of establishing itself as a major hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing in Africa.
On his part, the Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr Obi Adigwe, observed that despite the over 50 billion dollars’ worth of the pharmaceutical manufacturing market in Africa, it is difficult to point to any African country that can be referred to as a hub in the continent. He added that the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Value Chain Mapping by Bloom Public Health in conjunction with the LBS, when fully implemented, would become the most significant thing to happen to the Pharmacy space in Africa.
Throwing her support to the project, CEO of Emzor, Dr Stella Okoli, lauded the initiative by Bloom Public Health and the Lagos Business School. She said it is a welcome development that would augur well for the Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturing atmosphere and promised to offer her full support.
While calling for the enshrinement of local production in the project, Dr Ukamaka Okafor who represented the registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), said there cannot be any meaningful development without research. She reiterated PCN’s readiness to always support developmental projects such as the PMVCM.
Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, Pharm. Frank Muoneme, while reechoing his organisation’s commitment towards ensuring that Nigeria attains medicine security, stated that untapped potentials abound in the country’s pharmaceutical sector. He lauded Bloom Public Health and the LBS for putting up the PMVCM which he said is aimed at proffering solutions to the local manufacturing value chain.
Those who promised to support and help in raising funds for the successful execution of the project include, Dr Njide Ndili, country director of PharmAccess and Kate Isa, chairman Katchey Laboratories Limited.
Dr Franklin Ngwu, Faculty, Strategy, Corporate Governance and Risk Management of the Lagos Business School and his team of young and innovative executives represented the Lagos Business School.