With an emphasis on local R&D and training, these companies are setting up Nigeria for a sustainable, healthy future and providing top-notch healthcare to those who need it.

Olayinka Subair

Country Manager, Pfizer

Healthcare is a priority for everyone. To ensure patients have access to our medicines, we use patient assistance programs, flexible pricing agreements based on local needs, and, in certain less-developed countries, donations to help support patient access to critically needed medicines. To help close the patient affordability gap and increase patient access to much-needed oncology treatments, we partnered with the American Cancer Society and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) on a groundbreaking agreement for access to cancer treatment. The aim is to reduce the prices of 16 priority and quality-assured medicines by almost 50% in six African countries. Since the launch of the program in 2019, 100 patients have accessed life-saving chemotherapy treatment. For example, trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness, but can be prevented with effective antibiotic treatment. To ensure wider access to this life-changing medication, we have donated over 56 million doses of our antibiotic in Nigeria, in partnership with the International Trachoma Initiative, over the last 10 years. It is not so much about expanding the business but rather increasing the number of patients impacted through our medicines. We are committed to protecting the health of people in Nigeria and championing preventative care.

Matthew Azoji

Managing Director & CEO, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals

We started in 1957 as Pfizer Products Nigeria Plc. and transformed into Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals in 1997, when the management bought out 60% of Pfizer New York to form Neimeth. Since then, Neimeth has been able to successfully transform and develop innovative indigenous products. We have great brands with high quality products contributing to the well-being of Nigerians. We try to build efficiency in our operations to make sure we control our costs, and we continue to train and retrain our people so that there is a proper focus on effective and efficient delivery of operations. We also collaborate at an industry level with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN) to ensure we create an enabling environment that makes our business function better. Additionally, we invest in indigenous R&D to provide innovative products that meet changing market needs, especially those suited for prevailing diseases in Nigeria and Africa. This way, we are able to provide quality and contemporary medicines at affordable prices while ensuring that they are available and accessible to people. We see considerable growth opportunity, as Neimeth is one of the few indigenous companies that leverage indigenous research.

Akash Prakash

Group Business Head, Vedic Lifecare Hospital

From mid-2018 to 1Q2019, we innovated our approach to growing the hospital's capacity and capabilities. We are now driven by specialties like orthopedics, gynecology, general and plastic surgery, and so on. We prioritized these areas after considering a few factors. The first factor was demand and the second was access, namely the financing and infrastructure requirements to make that specialty a reality and accessible to people. The third factor was sustainability and the fourth was the affordability of these specialties. Profit has never been a goal for Vedic. Sustainable long-term impact is what we are working toward. We have also been developing our capabilities for minimally invasive surgery wherever possible. Additionally, the leaders of the company spend a great deal of time training people. Training and education have always been a core focus, and it has taken up hours of planning, delivering, and testing. New members of the team undergo a rigorous week-long training before they join regular duty. Meanwhile, we also train old staff in modern skills and techniques that will help them manage and execute their roles more effectively. Our HR team has started implementing online tests and training tools for all staff. We train people to have an adequate technical understanding of the industry. We are proactively trying to bridge the gap between foreign and national talent and slowly inching toward a completely indigenous company.