Urgent Action Needed To Revitalise Nigeria’s Pharmaceutical Industry – Stakeholders

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Stakeholders have sounded the alarm on the need to breathe new life into Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry, to bring under control the escalating medicine prices and accessibility challenges.

Industry leaders emphasised the pressing need for comprehensive reform at a webinar hosted by TheCable Newspaper Limited to mark its 10th anniversary.

In his address, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Ali Mohamed underscored the imperative to address the root causes of healthcare financing challenges in Nigeria. Pate highlighted the longstanding issue of inadequate insurance coverage, leaving millions of Nigerians to bear the burden of healthcare costs out of pocket. He stressed the urgent need for equitable access to healthcare services, calling for comprehensive reforms to bridge the gap in affordability and accessibility.

A prominent pharmacist and former minister of health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi echoed the call for industrialisation to address medicine affordability and availability challenges. Drawing parallels with Nigeria’s thriving film industry and India’s pharmaceutical prowess, Adelusi-Adeluyi emphasised the untapped potential of Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector. He urged Nigerian leaders to seize the moment and drive transformative industrialisation efforts, harnessing the country’s abundant human resources.

Director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye emphasised the importance of local drug manufacturing to combat insecurity in the country. Adeyeye highlighted NAFDAC’s initiatives to bolster local production and ensure quality standards, emphasising the agency’s role in promoting local content and adhering to international quality standards.

Executive secretary of the Anambra Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Chisom Uchem raised concerns about drug shortages and their impact on public health outcomes. Uchem stressed the critical link between medication availability and therapeutic success, advocating for proactive measures to ensure a steady supply of medications. She also called for research into the use of local herbal remedies for pharmaceutical production, highlighting the importance of harnessing indigenous knowledge and resources.

Despite notable growth in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical market driven by factors such as population increase and rising healthcare spending, significant challenges persist. A fragmented distribution system, counterfeit drugs, inadequate healthcare infrastructure and macroeconomic factors pose obstacles to market growth. However, with concerted efforts and decisive action, stakeholders believe Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry can overcome these challenges and thrive, ensuring access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians.

Racheal Abujah
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