By Chioma Obinna & Chinelo Azike
In line with the policy direction by the Federal Government to ensure national drug security through self-sufficiency in the supply of essential medicines, two pharmaceutical giants, Sanofi and May & Baker Nigeria. Plc weekend signed a contract for local production of Sanofi’s products in Nigeria by May & Baker.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the General Manager Rx and Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria – Ghana, Ms Folake Odediran, said they understand that local sourcing of essential medicines was central to achieving the government’s objectives, and remain committed to the noble aspiration of Nigeria’s dream.
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“The formal signing of a manufacturing agreement with May & Baker is proof of the commitment to localisation. We will continue to contribute our quota toward the availability of very efficacious, high-quality made-in-Nigeria medicines.
She said the agreement would increase availability and more importantly, quality. It is critical that we are producing with our water, under our temperature and environment; that way quality is monitored and assured.
Odediran further called on all stakeholders to collaborate with governments to develop a robust and fully-functional local drug manufacturing ecosystem.
Speaking, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okafor who expressed joy at the formal signing of the agreement, noted that the decision portends a great opportunity for the company and represents a major achievement in the national quest to increase local content and capacity in the pharmaceutical sector.
“Today’s contract-signing will bring so many benefits to health and the economy. The benefits include capacity building, empowerment, self-reliance.’’
On his part, the Chairman of the occasion and also the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said that the contract-signing was in line with the mantra of self-sufficiency. He charged the companies to target at least 50 percent local manufacturing by 2023.
He listed to some of the benefits of the contract to include capacity building, job creation, promotion of local entrepreneurship, technology transfer, reduce taxation as well also improve revenue.
Speaking, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Christianah Adeyeye, who was represented by the agency’s Director, Registration and Regulatory Affairs, also commended the agreement between the two pharmaceutical companies.