Sanofi, May & Baker in deal for local production

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Pharmaceutical giants, Sanofi and May & Baker have signed a contract for local production of Sanofi’s products in Nigeria by May & Baker.

This collaboration for local production of the drugs will be in tandem with the localisation policy of the Federal Government and ensure availability of very efficacious  and high quality made-in-Nigeria medicines.

Sanofi is a global healthcare company focused on serving the healthcare needs of the world’s over seven billion people.

The company supports patients and other people with treatments in diabetes, thrombosis and some other infections, as well as with consumer healthcare and human vaccines.

May & Baker is Nigeria’s first pharmaceutical company.

Ms Folake  Odediran, General Manager  Rx,  and Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria – Ghana, said at the event in Lagos: “The policy direction set by the Federal Government is to assure national drug security through self-sufficiency in supply of essential medicines.

“ To achieve this, the government has chosen the noble path of building local capability and expertise for sustainable growth.

“At Sanofi, we understand that local sourcing of essential medicines is central to achieving government’s objectives, and we remain committed to this noble aspiration.’’

According to her, the formal signing of a manufacturing agreement with May & Baker is a proof of the commitment to localisation.

“We will continue to contribute our quota toward availability of very efficacious, high-quality made-in-Nigeria medicines.

“ By the virtue of the manufacturing contract, capacity is being developed, and it is a way of empowering lives.

“It will 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.

“While the quality remains guaranteed, the cost of the medicines will be reduced because the duties and bottlenecks associated with importation will be reduced,’’ Odediran said.

She said that the choice of May and Baker for the partnership was based on its history of producing high quality medicines.

She called on all stakeholders to collaborate with governments to develop a robust and fully-functional local drug manufacturing ecosystem.

Mr Nnamdi Okafor, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, May & Baker Nigeria Plc,  said: “I am particularly happy at the event of this formal agreement signing ceremony.

“This portends a great opportunity for us and represents a  major achievement in the national quest to increase local content  and capacity in the pharmaceutical sector.

“We are proud to be part of it,’’ he said.

He said that the production will take place at the May & Baker’s Pharmacentre inaugurated in 2011.

According to the managing director, Pharmacentre is the largest pharmaceutical facility in West Africa.

“Today’s contract-signing will bring so many benefits to health and the economy.

“The benefits include capacity building, empowerment, self-reliance.’’

He hailed the efforts of Prof. Christiana Adeyeye, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in quality assurance of medicines.

The Chairman of the occasion,  Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said that the contract-signing was in line with the mantra of self-sufficiency.

Ohuabunwa, who is the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), said at least 50% local manufacturing by 2023 should be targeted.

The Director-General of NAFDAC, Adeyeye, represented by the agency’s Director, Registration and Regulatory Affairs, also commended the agreement between the two pharmaceutical companies.