With India being the world’s third largest producer of pharmaceutical products by volume with an annual turnover estimated at over $20 billion, latest findings reveal that the value of Indian Pharma products exported to Nigeria stood at $307 million as at March 31, 2012.

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Making this known to Business Day during the Indian Pharma exhibition cum Buyer-Seller meet in Lagos recently, Mahsesh Sachdev, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria said that Indian medicines have traditionally been the largest source of medicines into Nigeria, supplying over a third of the market.

While the surge is not surprising given the trust and faith that Nigerian consumers repose in the quality and efficacy of Indian medicines, Sachdev revealed that Indian exports of pharmaceutical products have gone up by 35 percent and 37 percent annually in the last two years.

According to Sachdev, “There are more than 30 Indian pharmaceutical companies located in Lagos alone and engaged in manufacturing and/or importing medicines, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and fine chemicals to Nigeria worth $307 million in the year ending March 31 2012. With the industry growing at 13 percent annually, the turnover is expected to grow five-fold by 2020.

“While the Indian Pharmaceutical industry is famous for generics, it is also making fast inroads into branded products especially in biotechnology. We promise not only to continue bringing quality medicines but also upgrade and update our bouquet to meet rising expectations. Thanks to bilateral collaboration over the past years, the past challenges to counterfeiting. We need to be vigilant against this and other unethical practices.”

Lending his view, Paul Orhii, Director General, NAFDAC, said that the agency is working at ensuring that Nigerians have access to quality and affordable medical products.

According to the DG, “NAFDAC has put in place measures to fast track registration process so as to ensure that quality and tested products are available in the Nigerian markets. With e-registration process, products could be registered with the agency anywhere in the world while the process is completed with 90 days having fulfilled all the requirements.

“The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in Pharmaceutical Sector in March 2011.They have intensified collaboration to prevent anti-counterfeiting of Indian pharmaceuticals.”

A cursory look at Indian pharmaceuticals reveal that finished dosage forms contribution is on the increase which indicates increased recognition of India’s pharmaceuticals world over.