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Setting up Nigerian Pharma Sector for Success

2020 has been a year of rapid and unexpected changes, successfully altering our way of life in permanence. Through it all one significant impact is the way we work, which is now forever changed and economies are deciding on how to adapt and function. The pharmaceutical industry has demonstrated a great deal of innovation in this challenging times in some parts of the world.



The extent of unity exemplified by this sector is worthy of admiration. Trade secrets and intellectual property have been more widely shared during the crisis than ever before, including the successful development of a vaccine for COVID-19 which became the industry’s holy grail. Digitalisation became one of the strongest suites enabling sharing of research data rapidly and more efficiently.


The sector has a long standing track record of delivering powerful innovation that overwhelmingly predates the pandemic. This progress speaks to the way the sector has been nurtured and developed over time, providing a blueprint for how to create a truly cutting-edge industry. A dynamic supply chain, government support and value chains are three reasons for its success.


The sector is well equipped with a dynamic supply chain, bringing together institutions from all parts of society. The tertiary education system is a hub for the world’s best students encouraging the presence of talented scholars. This is a positive impact for the pharmaceutical sector. Recent boosts to apprenticeship training in vaccine manufacturing also represent a welcome move as vaccine development becomes a key focus across the sector.

Another important key role that universities can play is that they are a possible hub for the development and birth of innovative research firms. A good number of firms e.g. Abcam in the UK which is now one of the leading players in the pharmaceutical sector because of its work on antibodies, sprung from a genetics research institute in Cambridge. This can possibly set up a ground work for benefits from mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and intellectual property, driving further growth.


Another essential factor that can possibly drive support in the Pharmaceutical industry is Government support. A system of support that encourages risk taking. Incentives provided by government can significantly drive innovation.

Tax credits provided for the purpose of Research and Development of drugs, provision of tax holidays through the lengthy process of drug development to post-launch trials. Such incentives should cover a number of aspects such as payments for services rendered by employees, including materials required for the development process.


R&D is one essential aspect of Pharma without it discovery of new drugs is utterly impossible therefore the essence of government relief cannot be underestimated with a view on the positive impacts R&D can make on the country and the world at large. This sought of support from the government encourages Pharma manufacturers to indulge the risks involved in the search for new drugs.


Finally, If the government intends to set the Pharmaceutical industry on a part for further improvement and placing the country at the top of the list of impactful sectors in the world, significant efforts must be made on the part of Foreign Direct Investment while streamlining regulatory, legal and financial incentives for domestic and internationals companies. This efforts can encompass both the public and private industries regardless of size. Increase in support and timeliness of these funds is also required to ensure that this advances become effective.


Setting up Pharma in a way that creates and protects value while boosting the financial outlook for the sector is a strong approach for improvement. Private financial support through corporate philanthropy and other fundraising techniques can significantly boost the financial value of the sector.

Sufficient capital supply can significantly encourage forward drive especially in times of challenges and market crash.


Ability to sustain the strength of this sector by making the investment landscape more tolerable, supportive and adaptable. Constant support from the government can create a healthy landscape that connects research institutions, private companies and universities, while fostering a virtuous cycle of innovation that boosts the entire sector.

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