A major reason Sanofi launched a new company, Zentiva, in Nigeria, is to strengthen its capacity to continue to provide safe, effective and cost-effective medicines, as well as to minimise health care cost in the country, Mr Abderrahmane Chakibi, managing director, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, has said.
According to Mr Chakibi, Zentiva – the third largest and fastest growing generics company in Europe – will provide Nigerians quality generic medicines from its rich portfolio to reinforce Sanofi’s access to health care ambitions.
Mr Chakibi was speaking during the official launch of Zentiva, held at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, recently.
The Sanofi boss stated that Zentiva is an international leader that develops, produces and distributes cost-effective generic medicines which improve and prolong lives of more patients in more countries, adding that the Zentiva brands are of proven efficacy, manufactured to the highest international quality standards and are duly registered with NAFDAC in Nigeria.
Chakibi said: “With more than 500 products in 800 drug forms, Zentiva offers one of the broadest generic product portfolio for major therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, endocrine, female health, respiratory, anti-infectives, anti-fungals, urology, central nervous system, pain and gastrointestinal.”
Quality health care, he said, does not necessarily need to be expensive, stressing that people deserve to have access to the best quality, yet most cost-effective, medicines possible.
Mr Chakibi said further that with Sanofi’s extensive and secure distribution network and the unique expertise of its workforce and trade partners, the company is strategically positioned to make the Zentiva brands available to all who need it in Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, special guest of honour and chairman, Dr Babatunde Ipaye, commissioner for health, Ogun State, commended Sanofi for bringing Zentiva to Nigeria, saying that the entry of the generic company into the country would help enhance accessibility to quality health care.
Dr Ipaye noted that while there is a dire need to offer quality health care service to the citizenry, there is a huge gap in the health care spend in the more developed economies compared to what is spent on health care in this part of the world, adding that many citizens cannot afford the kind of quality medicines that are used in developed countries.
He stated that one of the ways to get citizens to afford quality drugs is to support companies that produce generic medicines, assuring that he will always align with organisations that explore innovative ways of providing qualitative and affordable health care products and services.
While also making a presentation on Zentiva at the event, the Head, Primary Care Business Unit, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Mr Gabriel Ogunyemi, said that Zentiva’s strategy is hinged on safety, efficacy, quality and affordability which is guaranteed by Sanofi.
Sanofi, he said, brings hope each day to people by responding to the new challenges of protecting the health of seven billion people, adding that with Zentiva’s generic products, Sanofi is strengthening its commitment to providing patients around the world with reliable access to high-quality, safe, effective and affordable medicines.
The highlight of the occasion was the official unveiling of the Zentiva logo by the top dignitaries at the occasion.
Dignitaries at the event included: Dr Kolawole Owoka, chairman, Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN); Mrs Titilope Owolabi, director, Drug Evaluation and Research of NAFDAC; and Pharm. Bukky George, MD/CEO, Healthplus Pharmacy Limited.