By Juliet Umeh
To curb a lot of deaths resulting from fake drugs in Nigeria, the new Chief Executive Officer of a healthcare company, Oculus Pharmacare Limited, Pharm. Valentine Ezeiro, has called on the government for stiffer measures to check charlatans engaging in fake products thereby tarnishing the image of the the profession.
Speaking with Vanguard at the retirement celebration of the former CEO of the company, Sir Clifford Nzimako in Sheraton Hotel Lagos, last week, Ezeiro said the major challenge of the pharmaceuticals industry in Nigeria is that most of the products in the market are fake and some others are substandard.
He said when the patients start taking them, they will have what is called treatment failures and that’s why you there are a lot of deaths in Nigeria.
He said: “Government should encourage Pharmaceutical companies that are ethical in their operations and then begin to do more things to check those charlatans that are spoiling the image of the industry.
He noted that it is to avoid such grave consequence that Oculus Pharmacare has maintained quality for close to three decades of its existence.
He, however, charged Nigerians to shun cheap products which consequently result in treatment failures.
Disclosing where he hopes to see the company in the next few years, Ezeiro said the company’s turnover presently is at 1. 3 billion.
He said: “In the next two to three years, we should take it to three billion, that’s my target.”
Also speaking, the retired CEO, Nzimako called for an enabling environment such as power generation for the pharmaceutical industry and other businesses to enable them to thrive.
He said: “One of the challenges of the industry is that if you want to manufacture, you have to provide your own power. For a small company, that is trying to start, it is difficult because they channel the resources they could have used for marketing and promotions into power generation.
Speaking on his guiding principles over these years as the CEO said professionalism has been their watchword from inception.
Nzimako said: “Right from the inception, we decided to do things in a professional way. We did everything in such a way that a system was in place.”