FabuPharm: proudly pharmaceutical

By Honorine Kaze
September 2013
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Tired of being a pharmacist assistant and driven by an appetite to deepen his knowledge in pharmacy, Fanie H. Badenhorst did not waste time.


After a good  15 years in a pharmacy as an assistant  he found himself f to the then University of Die Potchefstroom Universiteit now the  North West University in South Africa to pursue studies to bring him closer to his dream.


He eventually graduated with an honours degree and master’s degree in Pharmaceutical studies in 1989 and to further his knowledge expertise, he worked as an analyst laboratory technician and in the development department where they tested new products at the University.


Armed with that expertise, the entrepreneurial bug bit him and then, FabuPharm products was born. The company was then registered in 1989 and started manufacturing products and repackage some oils in 1990 and the rest is hysteria.


The manufacturing plant which started with only cosmetic and toiletries products has since then expanded to medical products.


Fabupharm is the only Namibian manufacturing facility to produce medicinal products under licence from the Namibian Medicines Regulatory Council (NMRC).


The company has strengthened is integrity after being awarded the Good manufacturing Practice license (GMP) with which enables FabuPharm to manufacture not only for the local market but also for the international market.


After 23 years being on the market, Badenhorst notes that in order to stay relevant, one needs to keep reinventing themselves to satisfy the market needs.


Currently, the only 100% pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Otjiwarongo has kept expanding its foot print through the introduction of various new products to add on their portfolio.


Before the end of the year, they expect rolling out five new products for cosmetics, medical, supplements products


FabuPharm which is a member of the Namibia Manufacturers Association (NMA) manufactures different products such as the cream, lotions, insect repellent, food and vitamin supplement, sunscreen products, body lotions and creams, glycerine and Vaseline.


They have various range of supplimax supplement range to boost one’s health, such as Active Immuno Support, herbal colon detox , vitamin B complex syrup  as well as  supplimax probiotic capsules which plays an important role in preventing the development of bloating, diarrhea, colon spasm, inflammatory  bowel disorders, Candida infections and flatulence.


For the skin they have extern Groen salf herbal Antiseptic ointment which is an herbal antiseptic ointment which can be used for sores, cuts, bites, burns and excezma (spelling) which is one of the new products to be soon on the market. In addition they manufacture Umckagon capsules and Syrup, men’s lotion and tissue oil.


They also produce various medical products such as panados, paracetamol, antibiotics and iron supplements amongst many others.


FabuPharm distributes medical products to retailers and pharmacies nationwide and delivering pharmaceutical products to government through the Central Medical Stores which distributes to all the state hospitals. The private medical sector does get their products through another entity which works as their supplier.


Fanie Badenhorst Junior, who is the son of Badenhorst Senior points out that they are constantly searching for what the population like and what is no longer relevant to the market. “As we research for new products, upgrade the existent ones, we also over the years have removed various products be it medical or cosmetics which were not longer in use.”


Some of the products that they have stopped manufacturing include chloroquine for malaria and sicovit azorubine as they were not longer efficient as instructed by the government.


Badenhorst notes that over the years, their products are doing well on the market despite competing with international brands. Products such as Fabupharm aqueous cream and its body lotion are one of their most sought after products especially in the north.


“Presently, the population recognise our products and know they are of good quality and at an affordable price, our name is becoming a brand in the country. The fact that Namibia offers a small market is however a challenge” he says.


To broaden their market; they have launched their products in South Africa which offers a bigger market.


To reinforce the brand, the company is busy with rebranding the products packaging to make it more visible on the market. They are also on an extensive marketing through different mediums.


It has also invested into new modern packaging equipments such as a shrink tunnel, a double sided machine and more efficient labelling and printing machines.


In their production process, air conditioning is an important element which is used to guard store their products within the required temperature, thus is also revamping their air con system to a higher level.


Fabupharm factory is divided into two divisions, one for internal medicines and the other division for the manufacturing of external products such as toiletries.


Badenhorst stressed that the process of manufacturing the products is one of constant cautious process with various steps followed from the receiving of raw ingredients, sampling of the raw products to the labelling and final product.


Their raw material is mostly imported from South Africa but they also manufacture products from devils claw and hoodia.


Before releasing a product, it has to be tested at the laboratory for any default; once it has all been checked and approved it gets its batch number and the expiry date, he says.


Once a product has been given an expiry date, for e.g December 2015. Once the expiry is date is approaching, the rule is that the product is to be retested.


“As per pharmaceutical standards and procedures, which are in line with Namibian laws and regulations, expired raw materials are placed on the retest shelf. This means that the raw materials will be retested at the factory’s laboratory and a new expiry date will be issued if the results of the tests show that raw material is of excellent quality,” he emphasises on.


Their medical products have to strictly follow the NMRC procedures, per which they will then be awarded approval licenses for each product.


They have approximately1500 products which are sold in various shops including Pick n Pay, PEP, and Spar but still face challenges with certain South African retailers which only display exclusively South African products.


Fabupharm workforce has expended from the initial four in 1990 to 51 employees which include female, males and disabled people which are regularly trained according to the latest GMP regulations.  PF