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Akpa urges incoming govt to give priority to drug firms

By Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku
14 May 2015   |   2:16 am
THE chairman, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) and Managing Director, SKG Pharma Limited, Pharm.
Okey Akpa

Simon Okey Akpa

As SKG Pharma rewards trade partners, launches new products

THE chairman, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) and Managing Director, SKG Pharma Limited, Pharm.

Simon Okey Akpa has called on the incoming government to prioritize pharmaceutical manufacturing industry as a critical and strategic industry, stating that no country the size of Nigeria can afford not to manufacture.

He said this in Lagos last week during the yearly SKG Pharma Trade Partners Conference, an avenue through which the company rewards its outstanding partners across the country and chart new ways to make more progress in the coming year.

Speaking at the event, Akpa said that the incoming government must see drug manufacturing industry as strategic industry stating that it is strategic to provision of health and there can be no healthy country without it.

He further urge the government to encourage local manufacturing noting that it is only through this avenue that fake drugs can be stamped out from the country.

He said: “What we need to have in Nigeria now and I think, the incoming government is a good opportunity is that we need to have a total look at the healthcare system and make it more responsive to the need of the people.

Access to drug, quality healthcare have to improve. And that is where manufacturing companies like us (SKG Pharma) are critical to a successful healthcare system.

Because a country like Nigeria with over a 170 Million people cannot but produce. Without production, you cannot guarantee supply, without supply, you cannot guarantee access to drug and without access to drug, healthcare system is in jeopardy.

“Manufacturing in Nigeria is a big challenge, it’s not easy but somebody has got to do it and that’s why we are in it. For us, business is not all about making money; it is also about national service.

We think drug manufacturing is essential. As a matter of fact, the National Drug Policy (NDP) is aimed at producing 70 per cent of drugs used in Nigeria within Nigeria, that’s the core of NDP and all local drug manufacturing companies are very critical.

Government must prioritize pharmaceutical manufacturing industry as a critical and strategic industry. “Government should also encourage Nigerian manufacturers to produce locally, because the more we produce locally, the more we stand a good chance to cut-off fake. Because the factory is there, you know where it is and you can inspect it at any time.

So, local manufacturing is a very good impetus towards elimination of fake drugs.” Delivering a business lecture at the event, Director of Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Mr. Peter Bankole urged the partners to create value in their services and make a difference in the industry that will make them stand out to be able to have an edge over their competitors.

Reminding them that technology has made the market easier for people to be aware and ask questions on what value a product can add to them, he encouraged them to constantly expand their knowledge.

He further urged them not to be extravagant in their spending but to spend in a reasonable and structured way which is not capable of affecting their businesses.

The event featured the launch of some new products of the company such as SKG Rexifen which is a 400mg Ibuprofen capsule product; SKG Galways, a 100mg vitamin C drops for newborns to 12 years plus; SKG Novadex Paracetamol, a 100mg BP drops for newborns to 11 months old babies with the advantage of being sugar free and SKG Novavite Multivitamin, a 15ml drops for newborns to 12 months old babies plus which helps fortify babies immune system against ailments and infections.

The trade partners were finally feted and Jonaco Pharmacy based in Onitsha emerged the grand award winner. The representative of the company, Chizoba Oleuku thanked SKG Pharma for their desire in helping their partners grow alongside them, saying: “SKG looks out for its distributors and makes sure they grow along with the company, no one is left behind and I intend to remain in the SKG family.”