* NAFDAC, NAIP seek more commitments from govt, stakeholders to ensure national drug security
Worried that local manufacturers produce only 20 to 30 per cent of the nation’s drug needs, the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) have called for more commitment from governments at all levels and other stakeholders to ensure national drug security.
Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, at the opening ceremony of the 21st Annual National Conference of NAIP, held in Ilorin, Kwara State, bemoaned the high volume of pharmaceutical importation, noting that it is inappropriate that local manufacturers only produce 20 to 30 per cent of the nation’s drug needs.
The NAFDAC boss who was the keynote speaker at the NAIP conference themed: Imperatives for National Drug Security stated that the huge dependence of the nations’ health system on imported medicines, chaotic drug distribution, and the presence of the open drug markets are serious challenges that must be tackled.
Adeyeye disclosed that NAFDAC has had to seize truckloads and containers of fake drugs from greedy, unscrupulous elements, lamenting that the absence of NAFDAC inspectors at the seaports made it easier for the fake drug merchants to bring in spurious products into the country.
While urging local pharmaceutical manufacturers to collaborate and manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), locally through partnership with foreign partners, the pharmacist also urged the Nigerian government to support local manufacturers. The government she said, should support local manufacturers by ensuring they have access to loans, pharmaceutical raw materials and needed infrastructure.
Also speaking at the event, NAIP’s National Chairman, Ignatius Anukwu said the association was committed to the development and implementation of a road map for national drug security.
He said that with the nation’s huge population estimated to be about 198 million, it is inappropriate for the country to depend largely on imported medicines.The NAIP boss urged the government to support local pharmaceutical industry through reasonable patronage while also improving the business and practice environment for the companies and pharmacists