The management of Fidson Healthcare has expressed its readiness to reposition the company as a first-class drug manufacturer in the company.
Speaking during the media tour of its new biotech plant in Sango-Ota, Ogun State on Tuesday, the company’s Operations Director, Mr. Biola Adebayo, said when completed, the new plant would feature the production of pharmaceutical products whose demands surpass the supply and therefore overpriced.
“The plant will also take care of the needs of pharmaceutical companies who prefer to have their products made in Nigeria in order to monitor the quality,” Adebayo said.
He noted that before now, only one pharmaceutical company had the monopoly of the antiretroviral drugs used by persons living with HIV/AIDS, until Fidson Healthcare commenced its manufacturing and drove down the price by more than 75 per cent.
He said the company intended to do the same with infusion which, he said, is currently being manufactured by a few companies.
“About five per cent of the Nigerian population, representing those who are in the hospital, use the infusion. As such, the demand is very high and more than the supply.
“With our new biotech plant, we intend to break this monopoly by injecting standards into the production, as well as driving down the price to make it more affordable, just like the antiretrovials,” Adebayo explained.
He said for now, the company imports 60 per cent of its products and produces the remaining 40 per cent locally.
“We intend to reverse this trend by 2015, by manufacturing 60 per cent of our drugs locally and sourcing the remainder through import.
“Next to agriculture, manufacturing is the second largest employer of labour; hence, by increasing local manufacturing, Fidson Healthcare will make more jobs available to Nigerians, while it will also be seen as being in tune with the transformation agenda of the government,” he said.
He noted that though multinational drug companies were returning to the country, the same challenges that made them to leave Nigeria for other West African countries where there were better facilities were still there, and that the new biotech plant would fill the gap by meeting their manufacturing needs.