Growing disease burden to drive pharma boom in Nigeria, Africa

Friday, September 13, 2013

Huge opportunities are in the offing for local drug manufacturers including Fidson Healthcare plc GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Nigeria and East Africa region (NEAR), Evans Medicals, Swipha, and Neimeth Pharmaceuticals, to grow their revenues on the back of recent surge in non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Lured by an emerging middle class, rising disease burden, especially NCDs such as cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, cancer and diabetes, major pharmaceutical companies are increasingly looking to harness Africa’s opportunity by producing drugs to address these medical conditions.

Although the total size of the African market may seem small compared to other global regions, analysts believe major cities within the continent including Lagos hold the key to unlocking pharmaceutical industry’s lucrative potential.

In these areas, increasing wealth, coupled with stronger health system infrastructure and rising demand for drugs treating chronic diseases are driving demand for pharmaceuticals products.

“Urban centres have the highest concentration of the segments of the population that are more likely to be relatively wealthy, more likely to be educated and also possibly more likely to suffer from the chronic diseases of affluence that are becoming increasingly important in Africa,” Sarah Rickwood, director of Thought Leadership at IMS Health told CNN.

Latest analysis from Frost and Sullivan Sub-Saharan Africa Pharmaceutical Yearbook, show that the market earned revenues of N359,623.8 billion ($2,276.1 million) in 2011 and estimates this to reach over N793,744 billion ($5,023.7million) in 2018, representing double digit growth in the East and West African pharmaceuticals markets.

Source: Business Day (link opens in a new window)

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