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62 Indian pharmaceutical companies storm Lagos

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Sixty Indian pharmaceutical companies are in Lagos to do business and are displaying India’s latest range of pharmaceutical products including bulk-drugs, formulations, biotech products, herbals, etc., at an Indian Pharmaceutical Exhibition cum buyer-seller Meet holding today and tomorrow at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.

According to a statement from the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, the exhibition is being organised for the third time in Nigeria by India’s Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmacil) in association with the High Commission of India in Nigeria. The exhibition will be jointly inaugurated by Paul Orhii, director-general of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Mahesh Sachdev, High Commission of India in Nigeria.

The event, according to the statement, “is expected to provide a unique opportunity to pharmaceutical stakeholders in Nigeria and neighbouring West Africa countries to meet their India counterparts to discourse procurements, joint ventures, technology transfer and marketing tie-ups, etc.”

Over 700 pharma buyers attended the expo in Nigeria in March 2011.

India medicines have long been present in Nigeria and India has traditionally been the largest source of medicines to Nigeria, supplying over a third of the market. Indian pharma products’ popularity is based on “their efficacy and competitive prices”. There are more than 30 India pharma companies located in Lagos alone and engaged in manufacturing and/or importing Indian products. India exported drugs, pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals to Nigeria worth US$307.60 million in year ending March 31, 2012, having risen by 37 percent over the previous year.

The Indian High Commission statement said: “India is working with NAFDAC and other Nigeria agencies to protect, promote, and diversify Nigerian pharmaceutical market. The two countries signed an MOU on cooperation in pharmaceutical sector in March 2011. They have intensified collaboration to prevent anti-counterfeiting of Indian pharmaceuticals. Today’s event is expected to boost bilateral cooperation in this vital sector even further.”

India is world largest producer of pharmaceuticals by volume. Annual turnover of Indian pharmaceutical industry estimated at over US$20 million in domestic prices, which are significantly lower than global prices. With the industry growing at 13 percent annually, the turnover is expected to grow five-fold by 2020. India’s global pharma export are expected to be around US$14 billion in year ending March 31, 2013, up nearly 25 percent over last year.

While Indian pharmaceutical industry is famous for genetics, it is also making fast inroads into branded products, especially, biotechnology. According to the President of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Osahon Enabulele, over 5,000 Nigerian citizens fly out on a monthly basis, seeking medical treatment in India and other countries. Nigeria is thus spending over US$500 million annually, with India alone getting about US$260 million of this amount. Buoyed by the boom of its medical tourism due ostensibly to Nigerians’ patronage, India’s projection for the year is to realize a whooping sum of between US$1bn and US$2bn from a medical tourism market worth over US$20bn.

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