Friday , 17 November 2017
President, Pharmacists Society of Nigeria (PSN), Ahmed Yakassai (left); Executive Secretary of Pharmaceutical Manufactures’ Group of Manufactures Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe; Chairman, PMG-MAN, Dr. Okey Akpa; Director, Drug Evaluation and Research, National Agency for Food Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Monica Eimujeze at the 4th edition of Nigeria Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Expo (NPME) 2017

How to boost citizens’ access to care, achieve drug security – Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Pharmatists and manufacturers under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Manufactures’ Group of Manufactures Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) have developed a blueprint on how to improve access to healthcare, achieve medicines security and self-sufficiency in Nigeria.

The pharmacists at the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Expo (NPME) 2017 said to achieve medicine security and national sufficiency; it is critical that an integrative multi stakeholder engagement approach be adopted, to ensure that the strategic objectives are achieved.

The experts including the Chairman, PMG-MAN, Dr. Okey Akpa; Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe; President, Pharmacists Society of Nigeria (PSN), Ahmed Yakassai; Director General of National Agency for Food Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) Mrs. Yetunde Oni; Chairman Expo Committee, Dr. Prince Orimadegun; and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GPE Expo PVT, Paresh Jhurmarvala said it is also important as they partner with policy makers, stakeholders and organisation with similar goals and objectives, as it represents a strategic and coordinated approach towards increasing access to healthcare in the country.

The stakeholders said the Expo is therefore a step in the right direction and the fallouts will also guarantee that interventions are sustainable.

The 4th edition of NPME 2017 with the theme, ‘Improving Access to Healthcare in Nigeria: Strategic Partnership to Achieve Medicines Security and Self-Sufficiency’ is meant to address the local industry problems and raise awareness on the need for local production.

The event, which housed over 120 foreign partners across the globe and 50 local manufacturers called for collaboration as a way to tackle the issues involved in local drug production.

Akpa said: “For more than three decades, PMG-MAN which is the umbrella body of local manufacturers, has not only helped improve access to healthcare for Nigerians, we have also contributed substantially to the National economy. Over this long journey, we have consistently collaborated with many partners.

“However, given the criticality of the sector, together with the significant but unutilised potential, we now seek to broaden and deepen these partnerships. Hence this year’s theme, ‘Increasing access to healthcare in Nigeria: Strategic partnerships to achieve Medicines’ Security and National Self Sufficiency’.

“This approach is in line with our revised broad based, robust and comprehensive engagement strategy. Our analysis has indicated that adopting this approach with government and other relevant stakeholders is the most sustainable pathway to medicines’ security and national self-sufficiency in Nigeria.

“Additionally this event will enable us update you on recent developments in the industry, as well as to intimate you of our industry’s contribution to improving access to medicines for Nigerians, creating jobs in the Country and contributing to National development.”

Akpa said PMGMAN has undertaken robust empirical analysis of the relevant factors, and some of the key factors that have been identified that must underpin the growth and development of the sector.

These, he said, include the following: affordable and long term financing; contextual and innovative partnership models; and procurement preferences – government and other procurement.

PMGMAN is also seeking: tax and other finance related incentives; knowledge sharing and technology transfer; and strengthening regulatory capacity.

Akpa said among these factors, the development of strategic and innovative partnerships, which are contextual to the Nigerian setting, stands out as a one of the major drivers for the growth and development of the sector. “In PMGMAN, we have now adopted this as a mainstream tactic, and the results have begun to emerge,” he said.

Yakassai said: “Partnership is the only way we can have medicine availability and security to improve access and standard of living of our country people. The PSN boss said they will continue to push with sincerity of purpose until they get the entire stakeholder to see the dangers of drug importation.”

Adigwe also laid out the strategic policy plan for local pharmaceutical development, and highlighted recent outcomes of the group’s policy partnership with government. While thanking the Indian and Chinese Ambassadors for their robust engagement,

Adigwe further urged the timely participation of potential investors in the sector, to enable them benefit from the comprehensive incentive framework being articulated by PMG-MAN and implemented by the Government.

Oni said the local pharmaceuticals have a huge role to play in Nigeria and West Africa, as the expo will open more avenues for the industry.

Oni who was represented by the Director Drug Evaluation and Research, Dr. Monica Eimujeze, said they would continue to support the local industry to enable their growth.

The NAFDAC boss admitted they have responsibilities to work towards Sustainability, as manufactures are concentrated in Nigeria, which stands as an opportunity for the country.

Oni continued: “We have challenges, but we should look at it and make out an opportunity from it. We all need in our little ways to sit up and create an impact. NAFDAC has soft spot for local manufactures and with collaboration a lot would be achieved in Nigeria.”

Akpa said the Expo brings together pharmaceuticals bodies that have been tasked with the provision of medicines in Nigeria.

He said the credibility and importance of the sector could not be over emphasised as they are set to make Nigeria hub for manufacturing. Akpa noted that Nigeria must find a way of meeting its drug needs.

He continued: “Recently, the Vice President of the Federation Prof. Yemi Osinbajo issued an executive order on support for local content public procurement, directing the mandatory patronage of locally manufactured medicines by all government Ministries Departments and Agencies. This policy is expected to accelerate growth and development of the local manufacturing pharmaceutical sector. This will in turn assure national medicine security as well as boost self sufficiency in the production of medicines.’’

Akpa explained that the positive outcomes associated with these policies include simulation of considerable employment in the sector, which will also lead to increased inflow of foreign direct investment as well as facilitate the export of Nigerian medicines to neighboring African countries.

Orimadegun mentioned that the event would show case locally made product and also show case their foreign partners as it improve access to healthcare in Nigeria

Jhurmarvala said Nigeria Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Expo has emerged as the most resources to network with the entire Pharmaceutical industry of Nigeria proved an exclusive business platform.

Jhurmarvala said as a result of collaboration the industry has seen a consistent growth. He advocated for more synchronisation among the regulatory bodies, ministry of health and professionals associated with the pharmacy fraternity of Nigeria so as to put Nigeria pharmaceutical industry on the world map.

Source: The Guardian

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