By Chioma Obinna
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, on Wednesday, called for an urgent digital revolution in the country’s drug manufacturing industry, even as it raised the alarm that COVID-19 disruption has led to drug shortages, an inflow of illicit and adulterated drugs.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos on its forthcoming Annual Conference billed to hold November 9 to 14 in Osogbo, Osun State, President of the PSN, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said technology revolution was necessary, as technological progress laced with innovations would cause an abrupt change in the society.
According to him, it has also become necessary at the time when most countries shut their doors against import-dependence countries like Nigeria due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is disrupting the pharma industry, causing shortages around the world and exposing the need for a more resilient global supply chain.
“Digital technology could help change the sector and make global pharma production stronger and more resilient and drug makers have experimented with new technologies to overcome the outbreak and its knock-on effect on manufacturing.”
Speaking on the conference theme: “Technological Revolution: Adaptation in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Pharmacy Practice and Regulation”, Ohuabunwa said in Nigeria, Pharma manufacturing can adapt technology to boost productivity, strengthen supply chain, resolve supply chain challenges, improve research and development of new drugs and reduce pressure on foreign exchange among others.
“A digital revolution will achieve the discovery and development of drug essential to our environment. Improve treatment outcome through responsible provision of drugs powered by adequate patent medication history, individualise medicines, and increase in live expectancy.”
On the conference, he said it would not only fill knowledge gaps, but also put life-transforming tools in the hands of the health care-seeking Nigerians.
“The keynote address would be given by Prof. Charles Okey Esimone, a thoroughbred intellectual, a professor of Biopharmaceutics and pharmaceutical biotechnology.
“This erudite academic has pioneered research in the use of indigenous medicinal plants as immunomodulators, vaccine adjuvant and anti-infective.
“The annual conference would feature great minds in the pharmaceutical industry, practice and regulation, towards policy evaluation and practice rejuvenation and also showcase novel research findings, innovations, pharmaceutical products and health consumable.
“It is also an opportunity to compare notes with colleagues in Diaspora, especially those from countries with the robust, functional and effective healthcare system,” he added.