Rolande Hodel

What is missing in the effort to establish successful pharmaceutical production in Cameroon/Africa?

Discussion created by Rolande Hodel on Apr 3, 2014

Your comments, opinions, collaborations are welcome!

Dr. Rolande Hodel  

The Future of Pharmaceutical Drug Production in Developing Countries


What is missing in the effort to establish successful, robust pharmaceutical production in Cameroon? AIDSfreeAFRICA’s answer on how to overcome whatever is missing is the establishment of:

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Training and Support Center of Excellence


The past: many attempts have been made in Cameroon. Most of them resulted in great losses.

  • Meditech never made it past renting a plot,
  • Diamond Pharmaceutical raised money, bought land and built a building,
  • Kakwa Biopharm started production of a Malaria drug and was shut down shortly thereafter by WHO for quality reasons,
  • Genemark is producing an estimated 5% of the country’s needs for three pediatric syrups. It is expanding, and working to reach compliance with international standards,
  • The Cameroon Baptist Convention produces IV fluids and some compounds, but has limited itself to produce for in house use only,
  • Cinpharm was the first serious large scale attempt. In 2011 production of ~ 40 quality pharmaceuticals started, in compliance with international quality standards. Cinpharm produced more or less for two years, but never to capacity and only due to steady cash infusions from the owner’s other successful businesses.

The present: Cinpharm had recently been evaluated by Strides Arcolab, an Indian pharmaceutical company. The findings were such that the company abandoned plans to buy Cinpharm and is now building a new factory in Douala, Cameroon, the home town of Cinpharm. AIDSfreeAFRICA concurs with these findings. Cinpharm had been built on the footprint of an old factory.  This had put constraints on the new architecture. Lack of senior management capacity, poor supply chain management, high energy cost, lack of access to local experts to fix and troubleshoot when serious breakdowns occurred – these were some of the problems Cinpharm could not have overcome by itself.


The future: What is needed now is education, training, support:

  • Training programs in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Management training programs specifically for the pharmaceutical environment.
  • Supporting the government establishing guidelines for regulation.
  • Training experts in repair and maintenance of machines and equipment.
  • Building of a machine shop able to repair or make spare parts.
  • Teaching supply chain management.
  • Creating and training experts for all aspects of production and maintenance.


What is needed right now:

Is to raise the funds to buy Cinpharm and open it as a training facility.


Possible Partners: Cameroon Government, Cameroon and International Universities, International NGO’s, Public Private Partnerships, foreign government organizations, such as the Deutsche Entwicklungs Dienst DED and the German International Zusammenarbeit GIZ , Pharmaceutical companies, the United Nation’s agencies, to name a few.  


Financial sustainability:

Plans to lease parts of the production lines/machines to contract manufacturers.

Charge for services of experts and training programs.


Submitted March 11, 2014

  1. Dr. Rolande R. Hodel