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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Genemark: helping Africa to take care of itself

With the help of Investisseur & Partenaire pour le Développement (I&P Développement), an investment company in which the EIB is a shareholder, in 2003 Gisèle Étamé established GENEMARK, Cameroon's only generic drugs laboratory. Her aim was to bring down the selling price of quality generic drugs on local markets and ensure that they were immediately available. The drugs market in Africa is stymied by a number of handicaps: fraudulent imports, counterfeit drugs, the black market, weak distribution channels, etc. Generic drugs in Africa, which account for some 20% of the market, come mainly from India and China. As a pharmaceutical doctor with 15 years' experience in a number of internationally renowned laboratories, 45-year old Gisèle Étamé wished to set up her own laboratory in the Yassa district of Douala. GENEMARK was founded in 2003 and produces four major generic drug families (anti-infectives, anti-parasitics, anti-inflammatories and food supplements) in the form of tablets and syrups. The company's flagship product is quinine syrup. Unlike capsules which must be broken to be administered and taken with water that is not always drinkable, syrup is perfect for treating children with malaria. Paracetamol and multivitamins are also produced in this form.

Source: European Investment Bank

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