Pharmaceutical company, Intravenous Infusion PLC (ILL), has announced plans to expand its market reach in the West African sub-region.
According to the company, this is due to an expected decline in its revenue generation as major health facilities in Ghana record reductions in Outpatient Department (OPD) attendance and the postponement of elective surgeries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the company’s 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Isaac Osei, said even though the company witnessed positive developments in 2019, the decision to enter the international market will further improve sales of its specialised pharmaceutical products which are currently in low demand in Ghana due to the health crisis.
He said the company achieved an increment in revenue of 14.2% year on year with a profit before tax margin of 10% by leveraging on its strong brand and customer loyalty.
“In 2019, the company under the Government of Ghana Stimulus Package, secured a medium term loan facility of US$3.2m from Ecobank Ghana Ltd for the procurement of equipment and for the physical expansion of the factory to house some of the new equipment,” he said.
“We believe the investment will increase production capacity, reduce unit cost of production and improve the Quality Management Systems of the company to ensure full compliance with the directives of our regulator, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). In addition, Ecobank approved a revolving short-term facility of GHS5,000,000 to support the working capital requirements of the company.”
ILL also received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the listing of additional shares of 32,200,000 from the conclusion of the Private Placement offer which took place on April 8, 2019.
“In all, the company raised GHS¢3.22 million from a possible GHS¢5.4 million. The funds received were used to support working capital requirements and make partial payment for equipment purchases. The National Investment Bank in May 2019 agreed to convert a loan of GHS1.56 million owed them by the company to an equivalent number of 15.6 million shares. These new capital injections together with the profits made for the year increased shareholders funds by 22.3%,” he added.
Mr. Osei further noted that the company’s average selling price which declined by 16.7% during 2019, and expected to peak by end of 2020, is as a result of government’s review of prices of all essential medicines on the National Health Insurance Authority Scheme by setting a ceiling on NHIA reimbursement to hospital facilities for the supply of medicines.
On product development, the Chairman of the Board of Directors said the company has intensified its collaboration on product development with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and will soon add Paracetamol V to its list of products after a successful collaboration with the KNUST School of Pharmacy with the approval of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
Intravenous Infusions PLC was incorporated in 1969 and began operations in 1974 as the first pharmaceutical company producing intravenous infusions in Ghana.
It was set up to take advantage of the lack of local production of infusions and the country’s total dependence on imports.
IIL pioneered the local production of a narcotic analgesic, Pethidine.
The company is currently the sole producer of this drug within West African sub region.