Chemists Dr. Alexandra Graham and Dr. Paul Lartey had two long-term goals: to return to their home country of Ghana and found a pharmaceutical manufacturing company that would provide the people of Africa with affordable drugs and to give the people of Ghana and other African countries skills that would allow them to be more self-sufficient in drug manufacturing. They recognized the potential of manufacturing pharmaceuticals locally: improving public health, lower costs, job opportunities, skills development and transfer, and savings in foreign exchange. At the time, Graham was working at Abbott Laboratories and Lartey at Pfizer.
In 2002 Graham resigned from Abbott to spend most of her time in Ghana (Lartey resigned from Pfizer in 2005). Studies she obtained showed antifungal and antibacterial creams to be an unexploited niche. Later the focus shifted to combating diseases contributing to child mortality. This case follows the establishment LaGray Chemical Company, its incorporation first in Ghana and later in the United States. It looks at the challenges Graham and Lartey faced in getting drug approval, retaining young employees, and dealing with infrastructure issues. It also examines the difficulties in obtaining financing and the conflict between the goals of their funders and themselves.
Director/Producer: Franco Sacchi Cinematography : Franco Sacchi Editing: Franco Sacchi