RWANDA – Burkina Faso has launched its first generic drug manufacturing plant valued at US$23 million to boost the country’s self-sufficiency in medicine production thus ensuring an uninterrupted supply of quality medicines.

The pharmaceutical production plant was built through a private initiative by Burkinabe pharmacists led by Dr. Palingwindé Armel Coéfé, Director General of Propharm which is the limited company behind the project.

The launched project dubbed Propham plant seeks to increase the percentage of locally-produced drugs for Africa’s consumer market at a time when African countries import 97% of the pharmaceutical products they use.

According to a joint report published in 2021 by the French Development Agency and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, generic drugs are up to 30 times more expensive in countries like Zambia, Senegal and Tunisia compared to developed nations like the United Kingdom.

Africa imports 97% of its pharmaceutical products.

The state-of-the-art factory situated in the commune of Komsilga, on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, will ensure a permanent availability of the most requested medicines, says the Managing Director of Propharm.

Certified by an independent Spanish organization, the plant will start producing paracetamol 500 mg, phloroglucinol, an antispasmodic as well as a kit of oral rehydration salts and zinc for the treatment of diarrhea,” said Dr Armel Coéfé.

He disclosed that the factory is currently finalizing the last step, the inspection of the National Agency for Pharmaceutical Regulation on the batches produced, in order to obtain the marketing authorizations in the coming months

Dr Armel Coéfé further said that the production capacity at moment meets the local needs and solves the problem of drastic rupture, noting that the list of molecules to be produced will grow especially with the production of drugs for the management of malaria.

At the same time, Prime Minister Albert Ouédraogo acknowledged that the pharmaceutical production plant is important as the plant will contribute to making medicines available to Burkina Faso’s population at a lower cost. 

Albert Ouédraogo explained that at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries all around the world recognized the need to develop local production of medicines, adding that it is a local company behind the pharmaceutical production plant project since it contributes to developing a resilient economy.

This is an important plant that will help provide our people with lower-cost medicines and ensure their permanent availability as the products manufactured here are the most sought-after in health facilities,” Albert Ouédraogo added.

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