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The Nigerian pharmaceutical market is growing at over 9% annually.

The Nigerian pharmaceutical market is a large and growing market with significant potential for growth. Over 70% of medicines in Nigeria are imported, with medicines accounting for perhaps $4 billion within Nigeria’s total healthcare spend of $10 billion. Out-of-pocket expenditure can be as high as 62% of total healthcare expenditure, mainly due to limited access to health insurance.

However, in May 2022, the National Government of Nigeria signed a new National Health Insurance Act which will mandates health insurance for workers and all Nigerians. As this is introduced over the next few years, there will be significant changes in the ways medicines are used and acquired.

Medicines supply in Nigeria is available through 9,000 hospitals and clinics, 4,5000 pharmacies and the estimated 100,000 Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs). These are licensed to sell over-the-counter medicines, but are the main source of medicines for much of the population. Online pharmacy business is also starting to take off.

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The local pharmaceutical industry, which has more than 130 companies, tends to focus on meeting the need for medicines on the essential medicines list, and of which many are available for OTC purchase.

Analgesics, antirheumatics and antipyretics account for 25 per cent of the local industry, with antibiotics and ant-infectives, multivitamins and tonics, and antimalarials each accounting for around 15 per cent. In addition to malaria, HIV is another significant health condition in Nigeria. Quality of medicines has been a concern with counterfeits/unlicensed products accounting for a major part of the medicines in the marketplace. This is being addressed by initiatives including more stringent registration, compliance and documentation as well as the use of technologies such as RFID and track and trace to help ensure integrity of supply.

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Distribution and wholesaling is also getting better organised with a national representative body having been established in 2021. However, historically there has been a fractured import and supply chain with hundreds of small businesses across Nigeria doing much of this work, although the national chains are building in strength.

One important aspect to consider about the Nigerian pharma market is the population is seeing strong growth. The current estimate of 220 million is expected to reach 262 million by 2030, and become the planet’s fifth largest population of 400 million by 2050.

Did you know?

Nigeria imports 70 per cent of its medicines

The Nigerian pharmaceutical market value is in the order of $4 billion

Nigeria is about to extend mandatory health insurance provision across the whole population

The Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.1%

Nigeria has about 200 active manufacturing and packaging firms in the pharma industry

Nigeria’s pharmaceutical market splits into OTC sector (43.1%), generic sector (38.9%), patented 12%

With counterfeit medicines so prevalent, it is estimated that only 30% of Nigerians have access to authenticated medicines

The local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is currently able to meet 25 per cent of local demand

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