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Drug discovery: Don urges Africans to explore use of herbs

By Dayo Adesulu

PROFESSOR Humphrey Rang has challenged African governments to look inwards by exploring the use of natural plants (herbs) which are in abundance in the region in knowledge of drug discovery. Rang, a Professor of Pharmacology said this at an International Symposium/ Doctoral colloquium with the theme: “Drug Discovery in a Changing World” organized by the University of Benin, Benin City. The professor who is regarded in academic circles as the father of modern day pharmacology intimated his audience on the phases associated with drug discovery.

He went down memory lane to when drug discovery began in the 18th century which was based mainly on plant products just as he acknowledged the changing nature of the world which he said was a source of inspiration to himself and his colleagues to carrying out more researches.

Complex processes

Complex processes in drug regulation professor Rang said was a major challenge to the industry.

He said “Regulations surrounding drugs are not too accommodating and even in the advanced world, it’s a big challenge. Also, the current state of drugs discovery is an extremely slow process because of its expensive nature. This is not usually an encouraging venture to governments across the world especially in developing countries”.

He urges Africans to make a global statement by standing up to the challenges of drug discovery because of the abundant resources that would make Africa the home of drugs, stressing that with the right will from government and given their intellectual capacity, the continent would go places.

The erudite professor advised swift authentication of products while also encouraging young and aspiring pharmacologists to think outside the box and be persistent even as he charged them not to be discouraged by the setbacks associated with pharmacy practice but instead be challenged by the undeniable importance of the profession which is primarily to save lives.

The two-day epoch making event which attracted dignitaries from the medical and pharmaceutical professions was rounded off with a doctoral colloquium which availed post graduate students the opportunity to know more about grants, funding and researches. Highpoint of the event was the display of researches and innovations by members of the university community-to the delight.

 


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