With a sizeable number of drugs disappearing from the market due to FOREX challenge, the Federal Government has been urged to provide enabling environment for indigenous drug manufacturers in order to boost local production. Making the call in Lagos, the Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, Pharm. Abiola Paul- Ozieh who lamented that drugs are gradually disappearing from the market due to the current economic situation said there is need for government to improve the capacity utilization of drug manufacturing companies in the country.
PRESENTATION: Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, Lagos State Branch, Pharm. Abiola Paul- Ozieh making a presentation to the Head, Human Resources, Union Bank Plc , Pharm Miyen Swomen, who presented the keynote address during the 2016 Community Pharmacists Education Conference last week in Lagos. “When their capacity is improved, we will produce more of the drugs Nigerians need locally. As a body, we are trying our best to ensure that we still have drugs for Nigerians within our capacity. But if we do not make conscious efforts we might actually run into troubled waters.” Giving insight on effects of the current economic challenges , Paul- Ozieh noted that drugs are becoming scarce because importers could no longer bring in specific brands due to lack of foreign exchange. “Drugs indeed are becoming scarce because Forex is no longer available.
A sizable number of drugs we consume in Nigeria are imported and drugs are no longer easily affordable because the prices keep rising on a daily basis. She explained that this year’s Continuing Education Conference with the theme: “Impact of Manpower Development on Community Pharmacy Sustainability” was designed to promote professional skills, business strategy skills of community pharmacists. Paul – Ozieh stated that the programme would help community pharmacists to understand the current economic reality and the options available for small and medium enterprises. “Most of us in community practice are yet to come to terms with the current economic recession. We want to know how we can scale through. We want to know the options available for us and options available to mitigate the effect.” On his part, National Chairman of ACPN, Pharm. Albert Kelong Alkali, who noted that national drug security, is key, urged the Federal government to prioritise the health sector.
“The Federal government must take off cost on importation of raw materials for drugs, appoint a Director- General for NAFDAC to ensure proper regulation and ensure that Nigerians are not exposed to fake and counterfeit products.” Also speaking, Group Managing Director, Reals Group, Pharm. Ade Popoola who recalled that the conference was to see how community pharmacists can be sustainable noted that Nigeria is operating at an inflation rate of about 18.3 percent, adding that it portends danger for retailers like community pharmacists.
Source: Vanguard Nigeria