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 medicines 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 pharmaceutical 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 Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Christianah Adeyeye.