Jonathan Smith
Wed, Sep 6, 2023 8:40 PM

The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy calls for policies to strengthen local medicine production

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The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy calls for policies to strengthen local medicine production
The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPHARM) has urged the government to implement policies that support the local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and ensure access to foreign exchange (FOREX) for the sector. The Academy emphasized the need to address the heavy reliance on imported medicines, with 70 percent of the country's consumption being imported. By promoting API production and local manufacturing, Nigeria could emerge as Africa's center of indigenous medicine manufacturing, leading to improved healthcare delivery and sustainable economic development.

Lagos, Nigeria - The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPHARM) has called on the government to enact policies that strengthen the local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and ensure sector access to foreign exchange (FOREX). The academy expressed concern over the heavy reliance on imported medicines, which account for 70 percent of the country's consumption.

Addressing the press conference ahead of the Investiture of 14 new Fellows and the ninth Annual General Meeting (AGM), Prince Paul Osogbe Enebeli, Chairman of the AGM/Investiture Committee, emphasized the importance of implementing policies that promote local API production.

Enebeli stated, "We need a policy that ensures APIs are produced locally; we cannot do manufacturing without APIs. Medicine is at the center of therapy and should be treated as a security issue. By strengthening the local pharmaceutical industry, we can significantly improve healthcare delivery and contribute more to sustainable economic development."

Nigeria currently imports the majority of its medicines, which poses challenges in terms of availability, affordability, and quality control. By shifting the focus to local manufacturing and reducing import dependence, the country has the potential to emerge as Africa's center of indigenous medicine manufacturing.

NAPHARM is set to induct 14 leading industry players from Nigeria and the Diaspora into its esteemed ranks, bringing the total number of fellows to 119. The inductees include prominent figures such as Pharm. (Prince) Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, Pharm. (Dr.) Evans C. Chidomere, and Pharm. (Dr, Sir) Gabriel Lambert Eradiri, among others.

Enebeli stressed the urgent need for the government to resolve the over N33 billion debt owed by the 52 Federal Health Institutions (FHIs) to pharmaceutical companies under the Drug Revolving Fund (DRF). He stated, "There should not be any reason for this debt except the corrupt tendencies of those heading those hospitals."

Dr. Lolu Ojo, Director of Programmes, pointed out that government-owned hospitals owe some pharmaceutical companies over N33 billion for drugs purchased. To ensure the industry thrives, there must be patronage, especially by the government.

To address the situation, Ojo suggested that forensic audits be conducted in most teaching hospitals. Additionally, Prof. Mohammed Ali Pate, Secretary-General of NAPHARM, and Vice-Chancellor of Business School The Netherlands, Prof. Lere Baale, urged the revitalization of Primary Health Care (PHC) by utilizing community pharmacists for routine immunization. They also emphasized the importance of a robust health insurance scheme, the digitization of healthcare, and training and retraining of healthcare workers.

The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, since its establishment in 2014, has been a leading force in advancing pharmaceutical practice and promoting excellence within the industry. Through the implementation of policies that support local manufacturing, Nigeria can improve healthcare delivery, strengthen its pharmaceutical ecosystem, and contribute more to sustainable economic development.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-06 News

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