PMG-MAN, APIN, others call for partnership between Nigeria and Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers
The need for a mutually beneficial arrangement between the Nigerian Government and Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers has been voiced again by some concerned pharmaceutical bodies at the just concluded Grand Pharma Expo.
The two-day exhibition, which was organised by India’s Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), in conjunction with the High Commission of India, took place at Federal Palace Hotel from 7th March.
In his address, Pharm. Ade Popoola, chairman of PSN Board of Fellows (BOF), explained that the Nigerian Government can learn from the grand exhibition by doing the same in Africa and beyond.
“However, everything still boils down to funding. Therefore, I will call for a partnership of sorts between the Government of India and Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturers. We want a situation where our graduates can be recruited and intensively trained, so that they can, in turn add, value to our economy,” he said.
Buttressing this view, Pharm. Bunmi Olaopa, chairman of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), reminisced that the collaboration between the Indian Government and the Nigerian Pharmaceutical sector dates back to many decades. This has been growing in leaps and bounds, since the exit of the giant multinational companies in the 1980s, he said.
“It would not be wrong to say that at least 40 per cent of the dosage formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in Nigeria today have their origin from India,” he said.
According to Olaopa, the balance of trade in the pharma sector is overwhelmingly in favour of India.
“This is not surprising and unexpected, bearing in mind the level of development of the Indian pharmaceutical sector. Therefore, we are privy to the fact that, today, many Indian pharmaceutical companies are showing greater interest than before in establishing their presence in Nigeria,” he noted.
Dr Lolu Ojo, chairman of Association of Industrial Pharmaceutical of Nigeria (AIPN), lauded the successful launch of the expo, adding that it was a welcome development.
He however lamented that rather than promote the cause of pharma manufacturing in Nigeria, what most pharmacists have concentrated on these days is strictly pharmaceutical trading.
While lauding NAFDAC efforts so far on the war against counterfeiting, the AIPN chairman opined that the quality of people handling the pharmaceutical distribution is part of the problem of counterfeiting.
Pharm. Nnamdi Obi, chairman of the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN), seems to equally have the same notion.
“Most Nigerians are alive today, owing to the integrity behind Indian drugs. Imagine running on generator in your home and business for 24 hours. Tell me, what will a manufacturer produce that can give him something in return?” he queried.
A record of 62 Indian companies displayed some of the latest range of pharmaceuticals products, including bulk-drugs, formulations, biotech products as well as herbals. This is the third time Pharmexil, in association with the High Commission of India in Nigeria, will be organizing the expo.