NHC Pharma Commissions New Outlet in Abeokuta

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As Biofem, PSN, ACPN, others applaud management

NHC Pharmaceuticals, one of the prominent wholesale and distributions outlets in the country, has opened up a new branch in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Sequel to the official commissioning ceremony, several pharmacists, close friends, professional colleagues and community pharmacists in Ogun States have continued to inundate NHC Pharmaceuticals with felicitations and goodwill messages.

Speaking at official opening of the company’s new premises in Ita Oshin area of Abeokuta, Ogun State on 8 August 2019, Pharm. Lawrence Aiyelabola, chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Ogun Chapter, thanked the management of NHC Pharma for siting the new branch in the state.

L-R: Pharm. Oyesunlola Okunuga, chairman, Ogun State chapter of Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs); Pharm. Lawrence Aiyelabola, chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria(PSN) Ogun Chapter; Pharm. Rotimi Ogunbande, founder of Fontana Pharmacy, Ogun State; Pharm. Laide Soetan, managing director of NHC Pharma; Adeniyi Soetan, husband; Khadijah Junaid, managing director, Deft Consult and Solomon Kigbu, resident pastor, Dunamis Church at the official unveiling ceremony of the new outlet in Abeokuta.

“The company’s presence has helped our members, especially those in community pharmacy tremendously. Of course, we know drugs not properly handled are open to abuse and pose a security risk to the population,” he noted.

Aiyelabola disclosed that aside giving prompt attention to customers’ complaints, NHC Pharma has displayed a high level of professionalism so far.

“It is no longer secret that most licensed wholesalers don’t strictly follow what is written on their licenses. Most combine retail with wholesale and even veer into importation.

“But NHC Pharma is different. She has remained steadfast in her calling and doing exploit in that regard. Besides, I am happy the management took my advice to site the branch in Ogun,” he commended.

The PSN chairman also used the opportunity to beckon on National Assembly to pass the protracted Pharmacy Bill adding that Nigerians need it for germane reason.

In a similar development, Femi Soremekun, managing director, Biofem Pharmaceuticals has applauded Pharm. Laide Soetan, managing director of NHC Pharma, noting that he was highly impressed with her level of discipline.

It would be recalled that the NHC boss was a former regional manager at Biofem before she found her calling in wholesale and cold chain business.

Soremekun further explained that the reason he kept checking up on Soetan from time to time was to ensure she does not repeat the mistakes that many pharma owners had made in the past.

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“I am so happy for her because she has learned from the experiences of others. Today’s business world is undergoing disruptive technological advancement and I would need us all to be proactive in that regard.

“Now that we have started having the likes of Konga, Jumia and other ecommerce making foray into community pharmacy, it is only a matter of time before they take over the retail space,” he warned.

Pharm. Laide Soetan showing guests around the new outlet

The Biofem boss urged pharmacies in the community not to look at the newly commissioned wholesale & pharma logistics outlet as competitor.

“Being a wholesale business, NHC Pharma is here to serve you. Therefore, let us come together and patronise her,” he canvassed.

Pharm. Oyesunlola Okunuga, chairman, Ogun State chapter of Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs) seemed to be in agreement with his view when she declared that NHC Pharma is looking every inch what a standard wholesale outlet should look like.

Still in congratulatory mood, Pharm. Babajide Giwa, Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Ogun State branch, announced that his members are happy with the location of the new company.

Aside from seeing it as a welcome development, the pharmacist said that NHC Pharma has provided an alternative to the chaos that exists in the drug distribution in the State.

“It is pleasurable listening to Pharm. Femi Soremekun talk about disruptive technology because it is the future. A time will come when most of our acquired knowledge would become irrelevant in another five to ten years.

“This was exactly how the introduction of GSM has revolutionised our thinking, business and way of life. Once again, I congratulate NHC Pharma on this landmark,” he enthused.

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Another member of ACPN, Pharm. Rotimi Ogunbande, founder of Fontana Pharmacy, Ogun State however declared that it is not yet uhuru as there is still room for improvement.

He reminisced that his first experience at the annual FIP event exposed him to the wide gap between the state of development in Africa and the West.

“I was astounded by what I saw. While you are here deliberating on the need to computerize pharmacies nationwide, we saw robots collecting prescription and dispensing drugs. That is the power of disruptive technology.

“I like Laide as a person because she is daring and stops at nothing until she hits her target. Are you still surprised seeing even her former boss (Soremekun) coming all the way from Lagos just to honour her invite?” he noted.

The secretary of the Ogun State chapter of Nigerian Association of Patent Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPP-MED) was not left out in the encomiums.

While referring to the management as partner-in-progress, Mrs Ouwaseun Ayan, representative of NAPP-MED described the siting of NHC Pharma in Ogun State as a welcome development.

“I have known Laide for a long time but didn’t realise she is the owner of NHC until today. As someone said earlier, we are together and shouldn’t be seen trying to compete against one another,” she urged.

In appreciation of the felicitations and goodwill messages, Pharm. Olaide Soetan reiterated the fact that NHC Pharma is solely into wholesale distribution and has no intention of competing with the same retail outlets she ought to service. Ideally, your wholesaler should be an extension of your back office and help to strengthen your practice and that is what NHC intends to deliver.

“I want to specially thank the PSN chairman of Ogun State (Aiyelabola) for encouraging me to reach the decision to come to Ogun State. It is a dream that has come true. My sincere appreciation to my former boss (Soremekun) for also coming all the way,” she said.

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Reminiscing, Soetan explained how she approached him one day and declared her intention to leave and start her business.

According to her, the Biofem boss gave his support and helped in shaping the outlook of the business by encouraging me to set myself apart by offering something different to the teeming customers who have for long been shortchanged by the traders they have been patronising.

“Even when I opened my first wholesale outlet in Ogba Lagos, he kept checking to see how I was doing. Thank you very much for all you have done for me sir”.

“I also want to thank and reassure those who have been applauding our prompt delivery and customer service so far in this community that our best has not come yet. In fact, NHC Pharma is just starting,” she reassured.

Soetan also counselled the community pharmacists in attendance to adopt the principle of Just in time ordering, a concept made popular by Toyota to reduce waste and increase efficiency of resources. This becomes more practicable when you have a wholesaler who has your interest at heart and partners with you to prevent over-stocking.

In her opinion, it is safer and wise to buy based on the demand for those products.

“Except those products are for everyday use, don’t bother to buy in volume. This is why we are here for you. In line with NHC motto – Adding Value, we also offer free sales workshop, collaboration, accounting training, social media training and several other initiatives geared at helping our customers run their businesses better,” she stressed.

The expansive office was declared open by the Chairman of Fontana Pharmacy Ijebu Ode, Pharm Rotimi Ogunbande.

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