On Thursday, August 3, GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) said it is drawing the blinds on its Nigerian subsidiary after a “strategic intent” to consider other favourable business options.
GSK’s operations in Nigeria will no longer involve commercialising its prescription drugs and vaccines, meaning its activities now entail distributing its pharmaceutical products through a third party only.
The announcement fell on the same day GSK Nigeria published its half-year 2023 financials showing a plunge by almost half in revenue to N7.8 billion from N14.8 billion a year ago.
GSK produces Panadol, Ventolin inhaler, Macleans, Sensodyne, Andrews liver salt, Amoxil etc
The news has rattled Nigerians because GSK is one of Nigeria’s biggest employers of healthcare jobs.
It is also one of the few brands with standard medications that finance research, innovation and development in Nigeria.
Nigerians have been lamenting the decision of GSK to close shop in the country, lamenting that bad governance is why the British organisation is leaving.
David Onyemaizu, a writer, wrote:
“With GSK leaving Nigeria, Augmentin & other essential drugs manufactured by the company will become more expensive. How on earth would folks who can barely afford food get the money to buy these same drugs when imported into the country? Very ridiculous.”
Phrank Shaibu, a spokesman for Atiku Abubakar, said:
What APC cannot kill doesn’t exist! Now, they have taken away our panadol and left us with their headache! Do we still need a witch doctor to know that these people are undertakers?
Shehu Gazali Sadiq, a public affairs commentator, also blames Nigeria’s ruling party.
APC has sent GSK pharmaceutical packing from Nigeria after 51 years of producing drugs for Nigerians. They are leaving because of the scarcity of forex. Another achievement of APC.
Likewise, Bonario Nnags, a social media commentator, says the ruling party’s policies should be blamed for GSK’s exit.
“What the evil APC-led government cannot destroy doesn’t exist. GSK leaving Nigeria is scary. Because of inflation, a ventolin inhaler that was N900 sold for N4,000. Now that they are leaving, I wonder what will be the fate of Nigerians that need such medication.”
Weyimi Lube, a Labour Party supporter, warns that medicines would be expensive.
“Since GSK is planning to cease operation in Nigeria, we better learn how to pick leaves from the forest cause we are going to be needing them to make our herbs. Medicine is about to be expensive!!”