African Pharmaceutical Market ‘Fastest Growing In The World’

African Pharmaceutical Market ‘Fastest Growing In The World’

The African pharmaceutical market represents just 2 percent in global terms, but it’s the fastest growing in the world, said African Development Bank Chief Economist Mthuli Ncube in BotswanaGazette.

Considering Africa’s strong demographic dynamics and growth in consumer spending, there is a window of opportunity for investors, McNcube said at a pharmaceutical sector seminar held in Tunisia.

With a compound annual growth rate of more than 10 percent, Africa
is the second most-dynamic pharmaceutical market after Asia Pacific with a
pharmaceutical spending expected to reach $30 billion by 2016, the report said.

The summit was the first of its kind to bring together from around the world 130 high-level policy-makers, health ministers, industry, trade and finance, CEOs, experts from pharmaceutical manufacturers, universities, institutions and organizations to debate the future strategies of Africa’s pharmaceutical industry.

Investors and stakeholders were encouraged to seize opportunities in this sector and improve the health of Africans. Africa accounts for the bulk of the global infectious disease burden, the report said.

The private sector can play a role in delivering pharmaceutical services to the public which will relieve the burden from the state, said Pharmaceutical Society of Botswana Chairman Bathusi Kgosietsile.

The industry faces challenges including absence of manufacturers leading to high cost of drugs, he said. There is also a shortage of pharmaceutical personnel resulting in compromised service to patients and overworked personnel. “As the industry grows, there is risk of sub-standard products…counterfeit drugs and to some extent pharmacy personnel complain about (pay),” Kgosietsile said.

What Botswana needs is a pharmacy school, government incentives and support for manufacturing, he said.