The firm’s German subsidiary 1A Pharma this week sealed a pact to supply APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) to Cameroonian generics firm Cinpharm.
Talking to in-PharmaTechnologist.com, Nick Haggar, Sandoz’s head of Western Europe, Middle East and Africa dubbed Sub-Saharan Africa as 'promising' and said that this is just the first step in plans for the region.
“We do see this as a promising emerging market,” he told us. “There is a growing population in the region, as well as a growing awareness among policy makers that generic medicines have the potential to make a significant impact on public health outcomes in Africa.”
He added: “Sandoz and its German affiliate, 1A Pharma GmbH, aim to be a leading supplier of high-quality, affordable medicines in sub-Saharan Africa.”
The move follows the business’ establishment of an office in Senegal last year, which is responsible for the entire region of French West Africa.
“This partnership with Cinpharm takes this commitment to the West Africa region one step further,” Haggar added.
When asked if Sandoz expects any problems in the region, such as security threats, Haggar remained confident.
He said: “We do not foresee any particular issues in strengthening our presence in the region and we already have experience in about 130 countries worldwide.”
Next in Cameroon
Though Sandoz has plans to expand its presense in Africa as a whole, it says its main focus will be on working with Cinpharm to make its 2010-built production plant cGMP compliant rather on building its own production capacity.
“At the present time, Sandoz has no plans to build a new plant in the region,” Haggar told us.
“Through this partnership, Sandoz will work closely with Cameroon-based Cinpharm to help transfer technical expertise, materials and knowledge so that it can upgrade its production operations and achieve cGMP certification for its manufacturing site.”
He said that, at present, the main aim of the game is boosting local production of high-quality generic medicines in the country, with a focus on essential medicines.