Regional manufacturers’ associations have set up a pan-African organisation designed to promote local drug production.
The Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (FAPMA) - which will be launched this Friday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa – is intended to give the private sector a voice in the implementation of the African Union's “Pharmaceutical manufacturing plan for Africa.”
At the launch a panel will discuss the challenges facing the drug industry in Africa and collaboration between regional bodies, including founder members the West African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, the Federation of East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations and the Southern African Generic Medicines Association.
The organization was not available for comment when contacted by in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
News of the FAPMA launch follows just days after a Frost & Sullivan analyst predicted that pharmaceutical sales in sub-Saharan Africa will increase from $2.28bn in 2011 to $5bn in 2018m as a result of economic growth.
Analyst Ryan Lobban told South African website BDLive that the growth will provide opportunities for established manufacturers, particularly firms like Aspen Pharmacare, Adcock Ingram, Cipla Medpro and Litha Healthcare.
"From an export market perspective, Africa is attractive to South Africa’s pharmaceutical companies," said Frost & Sullivan researcher Ryan Lobban.
"Aspen is already quite active outside South Africa and has made various acquisitions, with manufacturing facilities in Tanzania and Kenya.
The key thing is how companies position themselves to enter these markets and how they partner with local distributors and manufacturers," said Lobban.
News of the FAPMA launch also comes just a few days after the European Parliament backed an EU partnership with Africa.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: “This Agreement provides a sound basis for our African partners to make a real difference to the lives of their citizens.
“It sets out the sort of long-term vision we need for our relationship with these countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and development. I hope companies in the African countries concerned can take full advantage of it.”
The agreement includes – among other things – provisions to increase European firms’ access to markets in Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe , with pharmaceutical being among the products mentioned.