With 13% of the world’s population and 24% of its morbidity, but a mere 3% of pharmaceutical production and a majority of counterfeit drugs,
Africa is having to contend with a major public health challenge, namely access to quality medicines. This problem is currently being made even more acute by the growth in chronic diseases, demographic transition and the emergence of middle classes who are willing and able to set aside part of their budget for health expenditure.
In spite of colossal needs and serious growth potential, Africa is still lagging far behind on the global market for medicine. Local production is struggling and 70% of the Continent’s requirements are met by foreign imports.
Given forecast development in this sector, unlocking synergies between public and private stakeholders will be absolutely vital. Governments are increasingly turning to private businesses to supply and distribute medicine as an alternative to systems that have failed to prove their worth.
So, what obstacles do these private players face when doing business in Africa? How can patients be provided with proper access to sufficient quantities of suitable and affordable medicine? And how can we ensure satisfactory levels of quality, safety and effectiveness? What is the most effective way of transforming excessively fragmented supply chains? This factor explains why, despite low production costs, the drugs on sale in Sub-Saharan Africa are frequently among the most expensive in the world.
This new edition of Private Sector & Development tackles all of these issues and attempts to come up with a few pointers and solutions for the future. It lets researchers, associations and public health organisations give their own views and recount their experiences: the whole issue of patents, for example, and private African start-ups such mPharma and Pharmivoire Nouvelle, a pioneering local producer of pharma products in Côte d’Ivoire.