By Gabriel Olawale

In its bid to ensure adequate provision of equitable and sustainable access to life-saving medicines within the healthcare system, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN as team up with PharmAccess Foundation.

Speaking during the launch of Pharmacy Framework Manual in Lagos, PCN Registrar, Pharm. Elijah Mohammed said inadequate access to affordable capital for the procurement of pharmaceutical products at the last mile service delivery points has posed a big challenge.

He explained that the situation is worse in rural and hard to reach areas where many of the low income earners live and work, “under production of essential drugs still a major problem with the market still largely reliant on imports.

“This partnership is therefore borne out of the need to address this unhealthy situation, and the passionate commitment of the stakeholders to ensure quality healthcare delivery.

“The framework provides opportunities that would enable Community Pharmacists, Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors to increase the scope and quality of their services through the provision of affordable financing and increased oversight.

Corroborating his view, PSN President, Ahmed Yakasai said the collaboration will reduce incidence of fake, counterfeit and substandard drugs and pave way for  development of an effective pricing policy within the pharmaceutical sector.

“It will strengthen the value chain of the pharmaceutical industry by stimulating stronger regulation and providing access to affordable capital.”

On his part, Business Development Director, Medical Credit Fund, Mr. Olufisayo Okunsanya said  they are committed to provision of affordable loans in partnership with Sterling Bank to community pharmacists and patent medicine stores.

“PharmAccess Foundation, through the Medical Credit Fund, MCF has provided support to players in pharmacy space of the Nigerian Health Sector by providing technical support and loans up to $2.5 million in the last 3 years.

“MCF has given clean loans of up to $3 million per credit facility and its portfolio has repayment rate of 99 percent and we have developed a quality accreditation methodology for pharmacies called ‘SafeCare’.

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