Pharm. Remi Adeseun is the new country manager (West Africa) of QuintilesIMS, a multinational healthcare information management and clinical research organisation. In this exclusive interview with Pharmanews, Adeseun speaks on his new appointment and the plans of QuintilesIMS for the Nigerian health industry. Excerpts:
Tell us about QuintilesIMS.
QuintilesIMS is a merger of two global companies – Quintiles and IMS Health. Quintiles started as far back as the 1960s, in the UK, while IMS Health had started in the 1950s in the United States. Quintiles specialised in the area of clinical research, starting from phase 1 to phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. So it can be regarded as a clinical research organisation; while IMS is a health information, technology and data management company.
QuintilesIMS exists in over 100 countries and has staff of over 50,000, with an information resource database, calculated in hundreds of terabytes. It is so huge, as it covers many countries.
The company is just coming into Nigeria, although some work had been done before now, with a team coming in from Ghana and doing occasional primary market research. Now we are coming in fully. Many multinationals, from my initial talks with them, are very glad that the company is coming to Nigeria because they know the value of industry data in doing a marketing plan.
Tell us about your new role at QuintilesIMS.
My new role is that of country manager for West Africa region. I joined the company on 1 March 2017, based on my pedigree as an industry player and, more importantly, as one who recognises the importance data plays in effective planning. This comes from having garnered over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and health industry and being a person who is very conversant with the needs and challenges in the industry, as well as being a healthcare sector leader in general. I have also been an executive member of the healthcare federation of Nigeria; and, more recently, I have worked in public health, as a member of several national committees.
What territories are you covering as country manager for West Africa?
My position as country manager will focus on Nigeria and Ghana, the major markets of the English speaking parts of West Africa, before moving to the other smaller English speaking parts of West Africa, which include Liberia, Sierra-Leone and The Gambia.
The French-speaking parts of West Africa, on the other hand, are being covered by my colleague who is the country manager for North Africa region and he is resident in the Ivory Coast.
What is the goal of QuintilesIMS in Nigeria within the next five years?
We intend to become the service provider of choice for those who are keen on understanding the dynamics of the health sector for different investment purposes; providing market strategies for pharma products; and other areas of healthcare such as treatment, information management etc.
Our philosophy is to help our clients with data management and whatever information needs they have.
How will QuintilesIMS be relating with the government? Will it be on advisory basis or will they pay for your services?
Our strategy is to understand the nature of our customers. The government, as a customer, has limited resources and inexhaustible needs. So, we work with development partners to finance products that we co-conceive with the government. For instance, we plan to provide the government advisory on local manufacturing capacity. We have done this for other countries, such as India.
We plan to share this vision with development partner groups who have who have shown interest in Nigeria’s health system and have the resources. Thereafter, we shall link them with the government with the framework for engagement. An example of such programme is the Global Health Support in Ghana which has been of tremendous benefit to the Ghanaian health insurance industry.
We will also encourage the Nigerian government to contribute or make a financial commitment to such programmes because sometimes people don’t fully appreciate free services. In the national budget, there is a provision for the national health insurance policy trust that says a minimum of one per cent minimum of the healthcare budget should be devoted towards research on healthcare which can cater for such development programmes.
Has the Nigerian government shown interest in your vision?
From my early discussions with the health minister and the director of health research and statistics, they are very keen and optimistic about this development.