SA-Med to start producing PVC bags for IV fluids


SA-Med Plc, a joint venture (JV) of Samapco a local company and an Italian company Adriamed, is to start producing PVC bags for IV fluids in three months. The construction of the factory which consumed about 30 million dollars and took about five years to be completed produces the much needed PVC bags for IV fluids and the sets that are used for giving the fluid. Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein.
Currently four companies in Ethiopia produce IV fluids. These companies only produce the fluids and they import the raw material from abroad.
This causes a price increase of their product. Importing the bag requires a long time and as a result they need to import in bulk and store it. “They stock bags that will be used for a year and half. This forces them to put a lot of investment on the bags,” Saied Mohammed, Managing Director of SA-Med said. According to him, they sell their products at a higher cost because their production cost is high. As a result, people tend not to buy their products only because the price is higher than the imported glucose. “People can get glucose from China and other countries at a lower price” he added. The IV fluid producers haven’t taken large portion of the glucose market so far as imported glucoses from China and other countries are cheaper.
“Our aim is supporting these local companies via supplying these materials,” says Saied. “They will then minimize their cost which will enable them to compete in the market flooded by imported glucose.”
For the time being, SA-Med, will start producing only PVC bags. But gradually, it will start producing IV giving sets also.
The Italian company Adriamed, have been supplying PVC bags for the Ethiopian market for the last 12 years.
The manufacturing plant already started a trial production and commercial production will start in three months, according to Saied. “For the very beginning, we will start operation by producing 4 million bags per year. And we will increase our production gradually up to 8 million bags annually.” According to the Managing Director, upon going fully operational, the company will use two shifts and double its production capacity. 
The company has a modern sterilizer that uses gas for the sterilizing products it manufactures. But it will also sub sterilize medical instruments for other hospitals and clinics that has been using chemicals to sterilize surgical equipments. “We have talked with Tikur Anbessa Hospital and they told us that they will consider using it. Chemical use for sterilizing shortens the life-span of equipments and might have further damage” the managing director said.
This company will have an enormous positive impact on the country’s economy, says Ferede Yitbarek, General Manager for Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing S.C.
The current production of the four companies that produce glucose stands at 10 million bags annually.
SA-Med acquired 8500m2 of land at Dukem from Oromia Special Zone. The company created 65 job opportunities.  The company still imports PVC ganoids which are used as raw materials for its products from Italy.