Long-term lending institution the European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched a first-ever scheme that involves strengthening local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients in Africa and scaling up drug manufacturing.
The scheme, in which €50-million will be invested, will contribute to reducing dependency on drug imports on the continent and address medical supply chain weaknesses linked to Covid-19, which currently exacerbate public health challenges in Africa.
“Covid-19 has highlighted how public health in Africa is vulnerable to global supply chains and dependent on international production.
“Increasing local specialist manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients will help to improve the public health of millions of Africans. This new initiative demonstrates how specialist pharmaceutical and financing expertise can create jobs and a better future for Africa,” says World Health Organisation assistant director-general Dr Mariângela Simão.
The scheme will enable Africa to benefit from a predicted doubling in local pharmaceutical sales over the next decade, improve access to healthcare and create specialist jobs on the continent.
Demand for pharmaceutical products in Africa is expected to have reached €60-billion in 2020.
The initiative will provide long-term financing for pharmaceutical production across sub-Saharan Africa and specifically target the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients that constitute 45% of final drug costs.
The new financing programme will also ensure that African pharmaceutical manufacturing can benefit from technological innovation that is transforming the industry and making local production easy through digital connectivity, automation and cloud computing.