Fidson, GSK Nigeria Commence Contract Manufacturing Partnership

The leading pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Nigeria, Fidson Healthcare Plc and foremost pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc. have concluded arrangements for the commencement of local production of healthcare products in their first contract manufacturing partnership in the country.

It would be recalled that about three years ago, Fidson signed a Contract Manufacturing Agreement to manufacture five (5) products for GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc.

The partnership is aimed at improving local content in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry in line with global standards while also supporting the export opportunities for locally made pharmaceutical products.

At the commencement ceremony in Lagos, the Managing Director at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, Kunle Oyelana explained the rationale behind the partnership. “When we took a decision in GSK to evolve our competing model to a point where we go into working with local manufacturers to manufacture some of our products, it was a significant endeavour. We took that decision in the interest of the country, particularly the economy and the patients in Nigeria” Oyelana said.

He further stated that, “It took time, it was not an overnight journey because a lot of changes had to be made and that is why we are very glad that our regulator, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had been with us every step of the way in this journey”. The model, according to GSK is an in-country manufacturing partnership between a global player and local player. It is a model which has worked in several other climes, and is supposed to support Nigerian pharmaceutical sector towards reaching a global standard within a very short time.

In his remarks, the Managing Director, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Dr. Fidelis Ayebae explained that the partnership will generate more employment opportunities for Nigerians. “This is a transfer of manufacturing capabilities and assets from GSK to an indigenous company, Fidson Healthcare Plc. It is however not a merger or acquisition but an outsourcing arrangement. This is a big deal for Fidson and Nigeria. This agreement will benefit Nigerians such that they will continue to have access to the quality products of GSK for a long time through an indigenous company, Fidson who employs Nigerians to run its operations” Ayebae said.

The companies affirmed that the agreement is also aimed at increasing employment opportunities in form of capacity and technology transfer for more Nigerian pharmacists, chemists, and microbiologists; improve local distribution, as well as initiate more sustainable projects in host communities.

Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Mojisola Adeyeye in her remarks commended the two firms for their sustainable investment in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry even as the agency intensifies its oversight function to drive excellence in the industry. “Part of our regulatory system is focused on local manufacturing because if you want to avoid substandard, falsified medicine or reduce it, then we have to emphasize local manufacturing. It is good for our country and the economy. It will reduce unemployment, increase our GDP and return us to where we used to be; which was exporting healthcare products”.

In his goodwill message, the Deputy British High commissioner to Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones who reiterated the Commission's commitment to support GSK and Fidson in the production of locally made products for the benefit of Nigerians.