PMG-MAN targets to reverse over-dependence on imported drugs
All is set for the 5th Edition of Nigerian Pharma Manufacturers Expo 2019 billed to hold on August 28 and 29 at The Haven, Oba Akinjiobi Street GRA Ikeja, Lagos.
The exhibition with the theme “Strategic Collaboration for Medicine Security, Affordability and National Sufficiency”, according to the Executive Secretary, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), Frank Muonemeh, was carefully chosen to speak to the challenges of access to medicine in Nigeria essentially as it concerns attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 1,3,8, &9.
The pharmacist said the exhibition dates to 2008, when the first exhibition was organized in collaboration with industry stakeholders and since then it has been a biannual event, PMG-MAN in partnership with GPE EXPO PVT.
Muonemeh who doubles as the Executive Secretary of West Africa Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (WAPMA) said Nigeria has the most vibrant and rapidly growing pharmaceutical market and is the largest producer of formulation products among the Central and West African countries.
He explained: “She is having the largest number of pharma manufacturing units among entire West African region and the industry is meeting the 13 per cent growth per annum. PMG-MAN, the apex body with more than 120 local pharma manufacturing member companies, amongst which nine is quoted in the Nigeria Stock Market, represents the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry. The member companies are fully equipped to cater the requirements for the domestic as well as the exports with high volume world-class production facilities standards. PMG-MAN contributes to the National Domestic Product, to the excess of N300 billion, paying taxes and other tariff and employing directly and indirectly over two million Nigerians.”
Muonemeh said this year’s expo is timely as PMG-MAN looks at strategic collaboration with international partners to achieve the Industry ambitious goal of accessing N300 billion Pharmaceutical Intervention and Expansion Fund with a vision to reverse the trend of 70 per cent importation as against 30 per cent local manufacturing of medicine.
The pharmacist said the current over dependent on imported medicine is not only economic and health security sabotage, but also a national security challenge.
He said the Ebola epidemic case study comes to mind always, on the need for Government as a matter of urgency, to prioritize the local pharmaceuticals industry with government incentives and protectionist policies, -just like Indians, China, Bangladesh did to get to where they are in the Industry. Muonemeh commended the government of President Mohammed Buhari for setting the goal for reversing this trend of over dependent on importation with imposed 20 per cent tariff on some imported finished products that Nigerian pharmaceuticals companies does have capacity to produce, inclusive of the proposed 5+5 National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Validity policy of five years.
The 5+5 NAFDAC Validity policy entails that once an essential finished molecule, is imported into Nigeria market, after five years there should be evidence based plan of manufacturing such molecule in Nigeria market access environment in the next five years).
Muonemeh said the government should sustain these policies. He said the 5th NPME Expo is of international scale at Lagos, Nigeria and has noticed an excellent response in terms of participation from the international manufacturers across the world to display the latest Pharma developments and the technology.
The pharmacist said a wide range and variety of products / services will be exhibited to update the information and the knowledge, these includes: Pharma processing and packaging machineries and materials, laboratory supplies, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and bulk drugs, biotechnology, research institutions, utilities, and related services. He said more than 120 companies from China, India, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United States of America (USA), and Nigeria have already confirmed their participation at NPME 2019, Lagos exhibition.