Key to this projectís development and ultimately, to our commercial viability is the relationship we can develop with some key strategic partners as follows;
a. Government of Botswana (GoB): The GoB is perhaps our most critical partner, first as a development partner and ultimately as our anchor client around whom all our strategies are developed. Gemi has decided, as a company strategy/ mission, to develop and manage our business processes such that we produce the maximum overall positive impact on our society. To achieve that, we are aligning ourselves with key national long-term social and economic aspirations of Vision 2016 and NDB 10, particularly the Economic Diversification Drive, Import Substitution, Employment Creation and Poverty Eradication. Hence, it is imperative that we develop close collaboration with key GoB Ministries, Departments and Agencies including the Ministry of Health, Central Medical Stores (CMS), Drug Regulatory Unit (DRU), Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Botswana Export and Investment Development Agency (BEDIA), Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), etc.
b. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)ís primary objective is the promotion and acceleration of industrial development in developing countries and countries with economies in transition and the promotion of international industrial cooperation.
UNIDO offers advisory services and capacity building at enterprise, institutional and policy levels to increase the production of high-quality medicines in developing countries specifically focusing on medicines against HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
The organizationís mandate seeks to increase the impact of private sector development on poverty reduction. UNIDO will support the efforts of developing countries to improve the business environment and lay the policy and institutional foundations for the development of a vibrant private sector, it will promote domestic entrepreneurship and in particular, development of the entrepreneurial skills of disadvantaged groups, it will link domestic enterprises to international investment and technology flows, and it will facilitate access to resources and support services that enterprises require to become more competitive. Innovation, entrepreneurship and competition are important sources of productivity growth that, with appropriate policy and incentive structures, can bring about pro-poor market outcomes in the form of more sustainable jobs and incomes as well as affordable goods and services.Ē To this end, UNIDO is providing additional technical and development assistance to the project to assure the following;
- The project is economically viable and sustainable in the long term,
- The local production increases access to drugs through local availability at current market price or lower than current market price,
- The products meet the highest quality standards of International GMP,
- Key personnel are familiar with GMP and ideally have experience in running a GMP-compliant facility,
- Staff is fully committed to support the efforts of consultants/ experts and carry out assigned tasks in a self-reliant manner.
- There is technology and skills transfer to the local component of the project including staff and regulatory authorities.
- In addition, UNIDO will assist with access to training and development for citizen staff including the necessary training required in institutional capacity building.
c. Wholesale Distributors such as Orthosurge, Xtra-Vision, Medswana, Delta, Kalahari, Premier, Fine, etc. offer us the most efficient ways of reaching private consumers, as they are licensed to supply dispensers of medicines including independent pharmacies, Medical Healthcare providers and Medical Aid Schemes.
d. Medical Aid Schemes such as AFA, BomAid and Itekanele have perhaps the most influence on what the private market procures. This is because, combined, they fund about 90% of all pharmaceuticals procured in the private sector.
e. National Supermarket Chains with retail outlets in all the cities, town and major villages throughout country provide an outlet especially for our over-the-counter medicines, food supplements and vitamins. We are looking to formalize agreements with Choppies, Shoppers, OK Foods, Pick-n-Pay and Spar Supermarkets.
f. Independent Pharmacies and General Dealers are important allies since they will dispense our products to the final consumers. Even though they will get our products through Wholesale Distributors, they are critical in that they form the end of our supply chain and have direct contact with the final consumers of our products. Hence, they know best what our consumers want and will play a critical roles in post-market studies.
g. Private Healthcare Providers: Botswana Private Hospital, Bokamoso Private Hospital and other private clinics are consumers of pharmaceuticals . In addition, they will help us capture individual data and physician prescription patterns nationally.
h. The Medical Fraternity; Doctors, Dentist, Pharmacists and other medical personnel tasked with prescribing and dispensation of medicines have a huge influence on the final products used by consumers.
i. National, Regional and International Trade and Professional Associations such as the Pharmaceutical Society of Botswana (PSB) and the Southern African Generic Medicines Association (SAGMA) and the South African National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NAPM), Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Zimbabwe (PMA), etc. allow us to engage other manufacturers and other companies dealing in pharmaceuticals on health/ pharmaceutical policies, and other areas of mutual interest and potential collaboration. We are looking at local production issues such as cGMP compliance, pool/ joint procurement of raw material, technology and expertise sharing/ transfer, with the intent to improve systems efficiencies and lower our costs and increase value to our clients. We are in the process of extending our strategic alliance network to include other African pharmaceutical manufacturers of generic medicines, as a means to explore collaborations and contract manufacturing opportunities continentally.
j. Donor Organizations that fund procurement of medicines in Africa including Global Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PEPFAR, Clinton Foundation, etc. They control the effective demand of medicines since they influence the amount of money available to purchase medicines.
k. Other International Organizations such as the SADC, AU, NEPAD, WHO, DFID and other stakeholders heavily involved in the formulation of health/ pharmaceutical policy and in the provision of healthcare in SADC.