By Sola Ogundipe
LOCAL pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Nigeria have what it takes to meet the demand of Anti-retroviral, ARV, drugs in the country if given the necessary support and patronage.
Managing Director, Tyonex Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Pharm. Emmanuel Agba who disclosed this in Lagos, urged the State and Local Government agencies to adequately support and patronise local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies as a way of ensuring that the much-needed capacity utilisation within the country’s manufacturing industry is attained.
Agba who argued that even though national policies are designed and effected by the Federal government, maintained such policies ought to be driven by the State and Local governments.
“I can tell you that we can meet the demand for ARV drugs and the drugs for Opportunistic Infections, OIs. We can fill the need if there is an agreement with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ group of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria, PMG-MAN, we can meet the ARV demand for the nation, he stated. noting that the nation’s local manufacturers are already meeting up to 80 percent of the local drug needs.
“The President and the Minister of State for Investment met with MAN, and at that interphase, it was decided that whatever is manufactured locally will be patronised by government. We have been complaining of capacity utilisation, but right now govt is patronising us. It is on record. It is our belief that if the State and Local governments will also stand up and patronise the local industry in their domains.
“If Federal government policies are driven by the State and Local governments, and if they can work with industries in their localities, this would augur well for the nation,” Agba said.
Stating that Tyonex had a good outing in 2012, the MD explained that in 2013, the company’s focus would be on partnership with agencies such as DFID and others that are focused in the area of maternal health.
“We are going to deepen our partnership at all levels, particularly to expand our focus to areas of public health, and on Non Communicable Diseases, NCDs. These are silent killers. They are a threat even though they do not kill outrightly, we are going to give more attention in 2013.
Tyonex is working towards obtaining the World Health Organisation WHO prequalification. The company donated free ARVs to the Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS, Lagos State Chapter, and deworming drugs to Compassionate Orpahnage Home, and the Alimosho Local Government Council.