The World Health Organisation (WHO) has certified May & Baker Nigeria Plc as a pharmaceutical manufacturing company with adequate facilities and processes that meet the global health organisation’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). The announcement, which was communicated to May & Baker Nigeria by the world health ruling body, caps a deliberate and sustained effort by the company to seek international accreditation and certification for its production processes and products.
The certification opens an opportunity for global drug contract manufacturing to May & Baker, whose Ota, Ogun State-based manufacturing complex known as The Pharmacentre was designed and positioned as the most modern pharmaceutical factory in the West African region.
Nigerian pharmaceutical firms previously were not in a position to participate in international tenders for medicines against the three pandemics that require WHO prequalification. Health experts identified this as a major constraint on the local supply of medicines, especially anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs, anti-malarial and anti-tuberculosis agents.
The road to the WHO GMP certification began as far back as 2008 when May & Baker commenced the construction of a world class manufacturing facility at Ota, Ogun State. The facility, which was commissioned in 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan, was designed to meet all requirements of international pharmaceutical manufacturing best practice, from civil works to equipment installations, quality assurance, input supply and production processes.
In 2012, the company applied to the WHO for GMP certification. May & Baker Nigeria Plc’s Pharmacentre was inspected by WHO experts four times between 2012 and 2014 in the course of mandatory and advisory inspections. In all inspections, positive reports were made about the Pharmacentre, while improvements to processes, documentation and further training were carried out. In September, 2014, the WHO finally gave a nod to the company as having met the requirements for GMP certification.
Managing Director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, noted that the firm has become synonymous with excellence since it started operations in Nigeria in 1944 as the first pharmaceutical company in the country, pointing out that the WHO certification is not an end in itself but another motivation for further attainments in the quest for excellent healthcare delivery in Nigeria.