GSK expands drug production in Nigeria

9 May 2019

Pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria (GSK) has announced it will be restructuring its supply chain operation model to “better serve Nigerian patients and consumers”.

The firm has partnered with Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturer Fidson Healthcare to boost local production of medicines.

GSK said it would be working with Fidson on the supply of products and would be transitioning the manufacture of its respiratory and wellness products to the firm by the third quarter of 2021.

By appointing a local contract manufacturer, GSK said it will “build local expertise, transfer technical knowledge and improve local production capacities in Nigeria”.

Once the transition has taken place, GSK said it would subsequently shut its own factory in the Agbara industrial estate, but confirmed manufacture would continue at the factory in the meantime to “ensure supply continuity for all of its locally manufactured brands”.

GSK said it believes the supply chain restructure “will allow us to build a more sustainable commercial business, enabling us to continue our efforts in supporting access to our consumer health products, medicines, and vaccines”.

The firm also reiterated the restructure would not impact its wider commitment to healthcare in Nigeria and stated the new model would “better serve Nigerian patients and consumers”.

GSK’s strategy supports the government’s Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), a roadmap for industrialisation in the country, launched in 2014.

The plan aims to “create jobs, generate wealth, diversify our economy, substitute imports, boost exports, and broaden our tax base”.

“The NIRP has a limited time-frame within which we will accelerate industrial capacity expansions and reforms,” said the government.

Last year, a report warned that counterfeit pharmaceuticals in Africa were threatening the continent’s most vulnerable populations.

It argued that a comprehensive policy backed by politicians could drastically reduce counterfeit drug circulation on the continent. Nigeria was cited as an example of using legislation that criminalised the manufacture and sale of counterfeit drugs and other security measures, to reduce the circulation of fakes by 80%.

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