January 2017

Pioneering Quality Healthcare in NIGERIA

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Anil Gidwani, Director-Pharma Business, Dana Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, Mumbai

With an aim to provide better healthcare to Nigerians, DanaPharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, an Indian business arm of the Nigeria-based Dana Group seeks partnerships with Indian healthcare providers for technology transfers in areas of healthcare, says Anil Gidwani, Director-Pharma Business, Dana Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).

Please tell us about key products and services offered by Dana Pharmaceuticals and Dana Drugs Ltd.

Dana is a Nigeria-based conglomerate with diversified businesses like airlines, steel, automobile, plastic, mineral water and pharmaceuticals.

Dana’s pharmaceuticals business has offices in Nigeria and India. We have two factories in Nigeria. One is in Ibadan of IV fluids and the other state-of-the-art plant is in Minna that makes IV fluids, tablets, capsules, etc.

Dana Drugs Ltd is importer of formulations, surgicals and functions as the distribution arm for imports and locally manufactured pharmaceutical products with huge warehousing facilities all over Nigeria in strategic locations, catering to whole Nigeria with 400 plus distributors.

We are among the top leaders in the field of IV fluids. Some leading brands in the Nigerian market like Paradana (Paracetamol), Danacid (Antacid), Ferrodan (iron supplement) are manufactured and marketed in Nigeria by Dana.

What are the differences and similarities between the Indian and Nigerian markets?

The Indian market is more general practitioner-oriented, whereas the Nigerian market is clinic and polyclinic-oriented at grass root level. Then you have hospitals, primary healthcare, teaching hospitals, which are similar to India.

The Indian market manufactures latest molecules, while in the Nigerian market molecules used in the 90’s are more popular and new molecules are being imported.

The Indian manufacturing has matured, whereas Nigeria is trying to improve upon standards every day.

The other difference is that the Indian healthcare sector is dominated by doctors, while the Nigerian society is more pharmacist-oriented like in many developed countries. Pharmacist is a highly respected community in Nigeria.

Nigeria manufactures common essential formulations like Paracetamol, multi-vitamin, iron and common household remedies and IV fluids. On the other hand, India manufactures most of the latest drugs in the world apart from regular ones.

Nigeria has to depend on APIs on India and China. However, some packaging material is available within the country itself.

What are your plans with regard to India, especially in view of the improved cooperation between India and Africa in the field of health?

We have been doing tie-ups with various companies and are trying to take their products to the Nigerian market so that Nigerians can get a complete range of affordable medicines. We are also looking at aspects of providing better healthcare to Nigerians with hospital tieups, technology transfers in areas of healthcare.

Please tell us about key initiatives Dana Pharma has undertaken to improve healthcare delivery?

Dana Drugs has taken initiatives in CSR activities like deworming the children of Nigeria. We did this exercise in most of the schools in two states and now we are focusing on anaemic women in Nigeria.

How Dana Pharma utilises ICT to improve its efficiency and services?

We use IT software in our manufacturing activity. We will be shortly using apps to control and monitor our sales people and in many more areas like human resource, etc.

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