Home Health & Food Forex problem frustrating importation, manufacturing of essential medicines –Pharmacists

Forex problem frustrating importation, manufacturing of essential medicines –Pharmacists

by James Davies

Yusuff Moshood 

Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturers and importers have lamented the lack of access to foreign exchange, noting that it is now affecting the importation and local manufacturing of essential medicines.

The pharmacists who spoke under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Industrial Pharmacists warned that if prompt measures are not taken to address the Forex problem, essential medicines could soon be out of reach of most Nigerians. 

The industrial pharmacists stated this in a communique issued at the end of its 25th Annual National Conference held in Lagos, stressing that lack of access to Forex is a major challenge for players in the pharmaceutical industry.

In the communique made available to PUNCH HealthWise, and signed by the National Chairman of NAIP, Ken Onuegbu and the National Secretary, Dr. Joy Adeshina, the pharmacists urged the Federal Government to intervene to address the problem of Forex facing the pharmaceutical sector.

“The NAIP calls on the Nigerian government to resolve the lingering crisis in securing Forex for the importation and manufacturing of essential medicines as this is becoming one of the greatest threats to the growth of the pharma industry in Nigeria,” the pharmacists said.

The industrial pharmacists stated further that the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry is underperforming with glaring untapped opportunity, and urged the government to set up a 20-year rolling plan to transform the pharmaceutical sector. 

“This should enable the manufacturing sector and regulatory agencies to achieve targeted sufficiency in some key and critical areas.

“NAIP also calls for strong policies from the Federal Government of Nigeria to support both excipient and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) production in the country,” the pharmacists said.

The pharmacists also urged pharmaceutical regulatory agencies to ensure more efficient product and premises registration and regulations.

Proper regulation, they said, would help improve the quantity and quality of products made in Nigeria, adding that it would also help increase medicine accessibility and reduce the need for certain unnecessary imports.

The industrial pharmacists said the nation “can achieve a lot in improving the healthcare needs of the citizens through proper engagements and collaborations with major stakeholders and regulatory authorities. 

“As a result of this, we shall continue to engage with the customs, NDLEA, NAFDAC, PCN, etc. in finding solutions to the myriads of challenges facing the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry”

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