By Sola Ogundipe
In the wake of the alert to Nigeria by the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety about drug products contaminated with human remains from fetuses, infants and flesh, allegedly smuggled into South Korea from China, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has urged the Federal government to as a matter of urgency and in the interest of medicines security, take critical action to implement the National Drug Policy and the National Drug Distribution Guidelines.
President of the PSN, Pharm Ahmed Yakasai, who disclosed this weekend, while alerting the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, NDLEA, Customs and other security agencies to remain on high alert, said the National Drug Policy would promote local drug production, reduce dependence on imported medicines.
“It has also become germane at this time to address significant threats posed by inadequate implementation of the National Drug Policy in general (and the National Drug Distribution Guidelines, evident in the recent classified document that was spread through social media.
The document identified drug products containing “human remains from fetuses, infants and flesh” heavily contaminated with viruses (bio-hazards) which were smuggled into South Korea via mail by Chinese nationals for local use. “We do hereby reiterate our stand as outlined in the PSN Conference communique at Umuahia where the Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and other eminent Nigerians.
Yakasai who gave a rundown of the Association’s 91st Annual National Conference coming up in Ibadan, Oyo State 29th October to 3rd November 2018, said the theme: “Innovative Disruption in Pharmacy In Emerging Economies: A Roadmap For Nigeria” was carefully chosen to advance the national discourse on survival and significance in a time of rapid and turbulent change.
“Whether you are disruptively innovating or defending against disruptive challenger, we must do things differently to move from good to great as a profession and as a country. We must develop new model that would replace the old model.
He said the conference will exploit avenues as it concerns the Pharmaceutical Sector of the economy.
On the issue of collaborative and responsive inter-professionalism in the health sector, Yakasai said he led a team of pharmacists to pay a return visit to the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, President in Abuja and there was agreement to resolve the issues creating disharmony like prescription policy, consultancy cadre, fees for service mode of payment for Pharmacists (NHIS), Doctor of pharmacy (Pharm. D).
Again, on August 8. 2018, the NMA President. Dr. Francis Faduyile led top members of the Association to pay a courtesy visit to the PSN National Secretariat in Lagos. This clearly shows the new improved relationship between NMA and PSN and in extension among heaithcare practitioners in the country. “We sincerely believe that as healthcare practitioners we must work together m the interest of the patients in order to improve the quality of health of the nation. Together we are stronger,” he noted.