By Juliet Umeh
IN the effort to ensure a strategic re-positioning of the Nigerian pharmaceutical Industry to attract more innovations and produce competitive products for the international market, the Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria, NAIP, has called on the Federal government to build Pharmaceutical Production plants.
The NAIP, a technical arm of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, said the call is in line with its effort to help in contributing to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, in the country.
The National Chairman, NAIP, Pharm. Ignatius Anukwu, said with local pharmaceutical production parks in place, the local industrial pharmaceutical sector would be better positioned to produce and provide more medicines for local consumption.
“Specifically, we propose that our government at Federal and State levels consider the setting up of Pharmaceutical Production Parks where power and water treatment plants will be provided and shared by a number of Pharma production companies.”
Anukwu who spoke in Lagos said the initaitive would be a Public Private Partnership aimed at driving down the cost of production of medicines.
“When this is achieved, we would have what it takes to penetrate other African and Western markets where we are currently not playing.”
Anukwu also argued for the provision of arable land for cultivation of medicinal plants.
“We have loads of studies conducted by our colleagues in the Academia which could lead to the commercialisation of some indigenous medicines and bring about the innovation we hope to achieve through pharmaceutical manufacturing firms.”
He said collaboration of NAIP and the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists in the Academia, NAPA has resulted in development of an herbal cough tincture, formulated with natural active ingredients, called NANIP.
Speaking on the 22nd annual conference of the Association billed for Wednedsay, April 30, themed: “Disruptive Innovations: Unleashing Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry,” Anukwu said the keynote address which will be delivered by the Chief of Party, PQM, US Pharmacopeia, USP, Dr. Chimezie Anyakorah, will explore and recommend bold initiatives to bring about the desired boom of the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry. The Association also appealed to Government to pay their members for the codeine-containing cough syrups which were recalled by the Federal government last year.
“They should allow them use-up the remaining raw materials they have for the production of these products before they expire.
“It will be counter-productive to have them incur huge financial loses for a social problem whereas they have and are willing to comply with Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Distribution Practice, he said.
Further, he said: “We want to observe that after failing to meet the deadline of the closing-up of open drug markets in the country and the implementation of the New Drug Distribution Guideline, NDDG, by January 1, 2019, there has been silence from government.
“We expect that since this deadline was missed for some reasons, the Government should communicate clearly the next line of action. It has indeed become worrisome that after many years and many assurances, the implementation of the NDDG has continued to be elusive. We need to move to the Next Level on this,” Anukwu appealed.