AfDB Pharmaceutical Summit

by Developed Africa 11. October 2013 09:00

The African Development Bank held a summit at the end of September regarding the opportunities for pharmaceuticals within Africa.

With a booming demand on drugs and medicine expected to raise up to US $40 billion as early as 2020, Africa's pharmaceutical prospects are attracting growing interest from private investors around the world"

This summit shows how important having private-public partnerships is going to be in developing a robust pharmaceutical sector. There is quite a growing demand for non-essential medicines now across Africa, as the middle class grows larger, but not only this, a new sector would also increase job opportunities, as the AfDB have argued:

Investments in skills and technology are also at the centre of the Bank's development agenda. Given the specific nature of the African pharmaceutical industry, technology and innovation can be harnesses to accelerate inclusive growth and job creation in the sector."

However, there is still evidently a lot of progress to still be made, and a long way to go before the sector really starts to take off. AfDB's Health Division Manager, Feng Zhao said:

In the context of the current financial crisis, huge up-front investments are needed to boost the industry"

The IMS health study argued that:

Africa presents a complex, multifaceted set of markets, which are highly heterogeneous in terms of pharmaceutical growth, language and trading blocs (Figure 2).Consequently,the opportunities they offer are also quite variable. Understanding the nuances and navigating the challenges are key to establishing successful and sustainable operations."

And so it is clearly evident that Mr Zhao's advice needs to be heeded, that the only way to properly kick-start the pharmaceutical market is with substantial investment, as well as public-private partnership. 

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