Category Archives: WHO

Supporting the National Economy with Quality Medicines at Patient- Friendly-Price

Arab-Afro Medica c17Arab-Afro Medica d17
Way back in the 70s, Dr. Ahmed ElBadawi M.E.Hamid kept asking a question why there was no drug industry in Sudan. He answered his own question and fulfilled his dream in the mid-70s by laying the foundations of Amipharma Laboratories Ltd.
He started with an infrastructure for manufacturing pharmaceuticals in a space not more than 10,000 sq.mts and yet adhered to all International Regulations specified by World Health Organization’s guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practices.
The factory started after selecting a limited number of academically qualified Pharmacists, Chemists, Engineers and Technicians. During this time Prof.Hendricks, Consultant of UNIDO and Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Technology at Ghent University, Belgium, played a significant role for Amipharma. He arranged for training the personnel in Belgium in the field of production, quality control and good manufacturing practices before the commencement of production. Prof. Hendricks also selected the machines and instruments for the quality control laboratory. Amipharma can never forget Prof.Hendricks contribution.
Production started in April 1983 in small batches of limited products with two production lines for tablets and capsules using semi-automatic machines operated by limited number of workers. High quality products at reasonable prices compared to the imported medicines created an increased demand. The company had to import high-tech fully automatic machines by air to cope with the increasing demand. Within only two years of launch, Amipharma products were competing with imported products from Europe specially those of Beecham International. Beecham used to control the market of antibiotics in Sudan those days despite their high prices. Beecham responded to the stiff competition given by Amipharma by assigning contract manufacturing and a contract was signed between both parties. According to this deal, Amipharma obtained the license to produce some of Beecham products at a lower price than the imports, while Amipharma continued to produce the same products at lower prices than that of Beecham. This joint venture continued till the year 2000. Beecham today is part of the giant GSK after merger, which is the top company in the world. This contract manufacturing by Amipharma for European company Beecham undoubtedly had a positive effect and Amipharma gained the trust of Pharmacists and Doctors of Sudan. Moreover, this joint venture made the local company take major steps for development by enhancing their production lines, adding new lines such as dry powders, syrups and suspensions. It was not only the production lines which were developed but also the instruments in the quality control laboratory. Even the infrastructure grew in size and the space of the manufacturing facility increased fivefold to the current 58000 sq.mts.
Amipharma today produces more than 100 products in different dosage forms, strengths and in many therapeutic categories, most importantly antibiotics, antihypertensives, antidiabetics, analgesics and medicines for endemic diseases like malaria and stomach flu.
In its journey of 35 years, Amipharma has earned its reputation and is now a name that people trust. To reach out to all patients throughout Sudan, the company has distribution offices in Nyala, Atbara, and Medani including Khartoum.
To meet the needs of the patients in Sudan, the local industries should start manufacturing Injections, Eye Drops and Inhalers. Amipharma has benefited from this Government’s policy of boosting the local industries which allows national industry to outsource these new dosage forms through contract manufacturing. Amipharma has collaborated with leading companies to manufacture for them for 3 years during which Amipharma will construct production facilities and transfer the technology to carry out local manufacturing of inhalers, injections, eye, ear and nasal drops.
At the export front the company has registered its products in Kenya, Chad and Eritrea. It has already exported to Eritrea and registration processes are going on for other neighbouring countries.
Amipharma is driven by social responsibility and has provided jobs and opportunities for Sudanese men and women. There are 850 employees in the factory engaged in different fields of technology, pharmaceutics, chemistry and management along with the skilled workers and about 300 people in the various distribution offices.
Training opportunities are being provided to students and graduates. Amipharma sponsors research in different fields including universities in Sudan, provides summer jobs for students to financially help them, supports medical convoys to different areas of Sudan financially and with medicines, sponsors scientific and medical conferences, rewards outstanding students in Sudanese universities, supports departments of chronic diseases in many hospitals and also supports and sponsors environment safety projects.

Dr.Ahmed Elbadawi M.E. Hamid CEO & Managing Director of Amipharma was sharing his success story at Arab-Afro Medica 2017 at Friendship Hall. Khartoum 12-14 Dec’17 organised by Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development (AUIED).
At the end Dr.Ahmed concluded by saying “We believe that the success we have accomplished was with God’s help, we were granted the elements of success in the form of financial resources, although it’s a family business yet the profits go back directly to its capital. Qualified personnel are continuously being trained in and outside Sudan. There are clear business agenda and work plans in all departments. We are setting short and long term expansion plans. Our accommodating work environment has given us loyal workers who give their best and cooperate as a family. Today, praise be to Allah, each and every product coming out of any of Amipharma’s production lines is committed to our mission of providing ‘High Quality Medicines to Benefit a Patient at an Affordable Price.
This is not the end, but the beginning to realize our vision.”

Mycetoma – the Flesh Eating Tropical Disease

massive_foot_mycetoma

Having spent more than two decades in Pharmaceutical industry in India, it is shameful that I was ignorant about Mycetoma. Although the prevalence is high in India, is it because Mycetoma is the Neglected Tropical Disease the reason why I did not hear about it? My last fourteen years of Pharmaceutical experience in Sudan has taught me many things, Mycetoma is one of them. Thanks to Prof. Ahmed Fahal.
Prof.Ahmed Fahal, a surgeon, is the Founding Director of Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC) at the Soba University Hospital under the University of Khartoum. MRC established in 1991 is a WHO Collaborative Centre that is recognized globally as a world leader and an authoritative advisor in Mycetoma management and research. It is one of its kind worldwide as a specialized centre to deal with the Mycetoma patients. Prof.Fahal et al has more than 90 published clinical studies in Mycetoma.
Monday is the day when hundreds of patients visit the centre. There are more than 6700 patients suffering from Mycetoma registered at the centre. Mycetoma commonly affects poor patients in rural areas of Sudan, mainly Mycetoma endemic areas in Sinnar. Gezira and White Nile States. At the centre, there are seven patients’ consultation rooms, minor theatre and patients’ waiting area. There are two well maintained and equipped laboratories: molecular & microbiology. The Clinical services are offered by a group of well- trained clinicians, pathologists, microbiologists, radiologists, nurses and social workers.
Mycetoma is a chronic, progressively destructive morbid inflammatory disease usually of the foot but any part of the body can be affected. Infection is most probably acquired by traumatic inoculation of certain fungi or ‎bacteria into the subcutaneous tissue. Many patients come for treatment at an advanced stage where amputation of the affected part is the only possible treatment.
Public awareness and patient education about Mycetoma is extremely essential for early diagnosis and treatment. The Vision of MRC is dedicated to continuous discovery and development of scientific knowledge and clinical skills applied to the care of Mycetoma patients. The Mission is to eradicate Mycetoma, which is a life-mutilating disease, through the advancement of medical care, research, education and disease prevention. Visit http://www.mycetoma.edu.sd/

MRC1

First 1 to talk about Impurity Free Sugar

sugar1Sugar not fat is the real heart disease killer. WHO recommends that adults should keep their intake of sugar to no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) daily. Sugar is no more a commodity. It is promoted as a brand. Promoting branded sugar with a health message, especially in Sudan which has high consumption of sugar, is innovative positioning. It was ‘First One’ to do it, by communicating the health benefits of its sugar because of its packaging technology. It reads ‘Packed by best technology to best grade impurity free Sugar kernels which have high source of Carbohydrate. It is important to promote your family’s health and well being’.
It simply means its refined sugar. There are other brands of refined sugar in Sudan, but may not have spoken of impurity free as the First 1.sugar2

Safe, Effective and Quality Medicines for IGAD Population

The Federal Minister of Health of Sudan H.E. Dr. Bahar Idrees Abugarda opened the 2 day conference of IGAD member states regulatory authorities on Regional Medicine Regulatory Collaboration and Harmonization. His Excellency was the Guest of Honour at the conference on 26th April which was held at Alsalam Rotana under the auspices of the First Lady of Sudan Widad Babikir.
The Health Minister thanked IGAD for choosing Sudan as venue for the 2nd such conference. The first was held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during 3 -5 August’15. His Excellency thanked World Bank, WHO, African Union Commission (AUC), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) for actively supporting the IGAD initiative.
Dr.Bahar Idrees spoke of the 3 tier health system in Sudan highlighting the achievements of National Medicine and Poisons Board (NMPB) in ensuring efficacy, safety and quality of medicines, cosmetics and medical devices in Sudan. There are issues and challenges of substandard and counterfeit medicines. Sudan has seven borders and three of them are IGAD members which can collaborate to address the cross border issues. IGAD as a regional entity has taken the initiative to ensure quality, efficacy and safety of medicines. World Bank will be financing the initiative and WHO, AUC and NEPAD will leverage their technical expertise to support IGAD. Health Minister Bahar Idriss Abu Garga hoped that IGAD sets up a Health Program Centre located in Sudan.
The overall objective of the conference is to provide access to safe, effective and quality medicine to the IGAD population, through harmonized medicine regulatory system among the member countries, and work closely for the implementation of the strategies and modalities discussed and agreed in the Addis Ababa Call for Action during the first IGAD MRH conference, and to establish the IGAD regional regulatory collaboration mechanism with the support from development partners.
The conference was attended by representatives of Ministry of Health from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and host country Sudan. The opening had the gracious presence of the Health Minister of Somalia H.E. Dr.Hawa Hassan Mohamed; IGAD Director of Economic Cooperation & Social Development Elsadig Abdalla; World Bank Representative Apollo Muhairwe; WHO Representative Dr.Naeema Elgasseera; NEPAD Representative Margaret Ndomondo-Sigonda and Health Policy Officer of AUC Dr. Janet Byaruhanga. The welcoming and introductory remarks were presented by IGAD Program Manager for Health & Social Development Fathia Alwan and Secretary General of NMPB Dr. Mohamed Elhassan.