– Seeks special tax relief, clearing window for pharma companies
The Group Managing Director of Reals Group Limited, which includes Reals Pharmaceuticals, Pharm. Ade Popoola, has revealed that the company is set to fill identified gaps in the pharmaceutical market, especially pharmaceutical interventions that will boost the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This, he said, is part of the company’s strategy for better service delivery in 2022.
Popoola made the disclosure while speaking in an exclusive interview with Pharmanews at the recent annual praise and thanksgiving event, held by the company in Lagos State.
Speaking at the event, which he said had been a tradition of the company for the past 21 years, Popoola noted that Reals was innovatively working on introducing the new products by leveraging its vision to improve the pharmaceutical interventions in the fight against the pandemic.
He said, “We currently have a vitamin C. We call it Reals Calcee 1000. We have vitamin D and zinc. All these are made to boost human immunity. We are working on registering some COVID-19 products which can be injectibles and tablets.”
Popoola, a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN), further advised Nigerians to take the vaccinations against the pandemic more seriously, while also observing other safety protocols and taking steps to boost their immunity, saying these will fortify them against the virus.
While thanking God for seeing the company through the outgone year, the Reals GMD appreciated the commitment of staff, customers, distributors and other stakeholders, who worked hard to assist the company in delivering value to the society.
He also thanked the government for considering improvement in health sector funding, especially as it relates to low interest rate funds.
Popoola, however, urged the government to improve on its patronage of local pharmaceutical products, even as he insisted that some urgent steps must be taken by the government to improve the cost and ease of clearing pharmaceutical raw materials and products.
According to him, “We are having challenges in clearing our products from the port. I know it is not only pharmaceuticals; but they should give pharmaceutical companies a special recognition for clearing. We plead that they should make it a maximum of two weeks because if you are not careful, your products can be there for months.
“Regarding the import tax on clearing, the government says no more import duty on pharmaceutical products but there is what we call import tax. The import duty is 20 per cent, and the importation tax is 20 per cent, so what have they done? They have withdrawn one and imposed another one. So we are still paying 20 per cent on finished products. We advise that they should please look at it again and reduce it.”
Popoola also noted that the drug distribution system in Nigeria is still chaotic, stating that all relevant stakeholders – including regulatory agencies – must work to ensure that the proposed drug distribution centres take effect and are professionally manned to ensure that quality is not compromised at any stage of the distribution process.
Also speaking with Pharmanews at the the event, the company’s Sales and Marketing Director, Pharm. Kunle Adesoye, reiterated Reals commitment to making high quality pharmaceuticals available and affordable to the Nigerian population.
He noted that the company was among the frontline companies working to make the fight against COVID-19 easier by providing high quality, innovative products used in the fight against the pandemic.
Calling for government’s support, Adesoye said: “We advise the government to make sure that the policies are right. They should make forex available and affordable to pharmaceutical companies because we are in a critical care sector of the economy. If they make forex available, products can be brought in cheaply and at a very good rate and they will be available and affordable to the patients nationwide.”