In­dus­trial phar­ma­cists seek poli­cies to ad­dress na­tional drug se­cu­rity, self-suf­fi­ciency

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - By Adaku Onyenucheya

THE As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dus­trial Phar­ma­cists of Nige­ria (NAIP) has urged the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment poli­cies that would ad­dress na­tional drug se­cu­rity and pro­tect the lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try to im­prove the health of its cit­i­zens.

The call was made at a press brief­ing in La­gos ahead of its 21st yearly Na­tional con­fer­ence in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The Chair­man, NAIP, Ig­natius Anukwu, said gov­ern­ment should adopt poli­cies that would pro­vide an en­abling busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment for indige­nous man­u­fac­tur­ing of raw ma­te­ri­als for the pro­duc­tion of medi- cines in the coun­try.

He noted that the coun­try’s pharma in­dus­try is faced with enor­mous chal­lenges, rang­ing from in­ad­e­quate in­fras­truc­ture, low ca­pac­ity, less fund­ing and pa­tron­age from the gov­ern­ment and donor agen­cies, high cost of pro­duc­tion, un­friendly en­vi­ron­ment, un­avail­abil­ity of petro­chem­i­cal plant and open im­port li­cense, which ac­cord­ing to him could put the coun­try in jeop­ardy.

He stressed that the only ma­jor com­po­nent that goes into the pro­duc­tion of medicines in the coun­try as lo­cal con­tent is wa­ter, lament­ing that the coun­try im­ports the ma­chin­ery, equip­ment, chem­i­cals, reagents, and other con­sum­ables to make it whole­some for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal pro­duc­tion.

Anukwu said the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of the coun­try de­pends on other na­tions for it’s medicine needs, de­spite the Na­tional Drug Pol­icy, which stated that 70 per­cent of medicines used in the coun­try should be man­u­fac­tured lo­cally, adding that a num­ber of au­dits car­ried out pre­vi­ously put the per­cent­age of indige­nous man­u­fac­tured medicines be­tween 18-25 per­cent, which ac­cord­ing to him is “stran­gu­lat­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment for phar­ma­ceu- tical com­pa­nies.”

To this end, the in­dus­trial phar­ma­cists, ac­cord­ing to the chair­man, have de­cided to re­fo­cus at­ten­tion and come up with a roadmap to re­po­si­tion Nige­ria for self suf­fi­ciency in the pro­duc­tion of es­sen­tial medicines by 2035, through the na­tional con­fer­ence, slated to be­gin to­day ends on Fri­day, April 20, 2018, at the Kwara Ho­tels, Ilorin, Kwara state, with the theme: “Im­per­a­tives for Na­tional Drug Se­cu­rity”.

The keynoter is the Di­rec­tor­Gen­eral, Na­tional Agency for Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Con­trol (NAFDAC), Prof. Chris­tianah Adey­eye.

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