Posted on :Tuesday , 29th December 2020
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched the first ever scheme aimed at strengthening the local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients in Africa and increasing the production of pharmaceuticals that are essential for improving public health.
The EIB's recent US$60.9 million pharmaceutical investment program, unveiled jointly with the KENUP Foundation, would help eliminate drug import dependence and fix the gaps in the pharmacy supply chain connected to COVID-19. The initiative will increase the availability of specialty medicines and resolve problems in the supply chain that are currently affecting public health across Africa. Scaling up Africa's pharmaceutical spending will help shield millions of people from illness and injury and increase their resistance to current and potential pandemics.
â€œIn order to strengthen public health, fix medical supply chain weaknesses and unlock long-term economic growth, the acceleration of high-impact pharmaceutical spending across Africa is critical. In order to scale up local development of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Africa, the European Investment Bank is pleased to launch its first ever funding project. This scheme is built with African and global specialists in mind and draws on the unique global technological knowledge and funding expertise of the EIB in support of investments in health and innovation.â€ said Thomas Ostros, European Investment Bank Vice President.
â€œCOVID-19 illustrated how public health in Africa is vulnerable to global supply chains and reliant on foreign production. It would help to boost the public health of millions of Africans by growing local specialist production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients. This latest program reveals how specialized experience in pharmaceuticals and finance will build opportunities and a stronger future for Africa.â€ said Dr. Mariangela Batista Galvao Simao, World Health Organization Assistant Director- General responsible for Access to Medicines and Health Products.
â€œIn Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, Team Europe's latest funding to scale up African development of innovative pharmaceutical ingredients and draw on the strengths of global manufacturing skills will help shield millions of people from illness and disability. The demand for pharmaceuticals in Africa is predicted to double by the end of the next decade. This offers African pharmaceutical firms enormous market prospects.â€ said Simon Mordue, European Union Ambassador to Kenya.
The funding initiative for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients was officially launched with the involvement of members from the European Investment Bank, World Health Organization, EDCTP, and Global Access in Action at Harvard Law School and kENUP Foundation.
APIFA (API for Africa), a Kenyan-based non-profit organisation, has contributed its expertise in the process of setting up this funding facility and will serve as a non-exclusive promoter for the facility.
â€œWe warmly welcome the announcement of the API for Africa project in the spirit of leaving no country behind in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals. With the African region's more involved presence, this will bring importance to future research & development.â€ said Michael Makanga, Executive Director of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).
â€œThis is a timely facility which will change the continent's pharmaceutical manufacturing sector and thereby increase access for vulnerable communities to vital medicines. We call for all key stakeholders to come together now to help farmers and ensure the long-term success of this project in this transition journeyâ€, said Gerald Macharia, a founding director of APIFA.
The scheme will allow Africa, over the next decade, to benefit from the expected doubling of local pharmaceutical sales, increase access to healthcare and create specialized jobs on the continent.
The market for pharmaceuticals in Africa is predicted to double to US$73 billion by 2020.
The long-term funding of pharmaceutical development across sub-Saharan Africa will be provided by the EIB project, primarily targeting the production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, which accounts for 45% of final drug costs.
The new funding program will also ensure that African pharmaceutical manufacturing will benefit from technological advancement that transforms the industry and, through digital networking, automation and cloud computing, promotes local development.