By Chioma Obinna
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye has encouraged Nigerian pharmaceutical companies to be ready to trade their quality products across the continent that can be approved in different countries through continental reliance among regulators.
Adeyeye who stated that the African Free Trade Agreement, AfcFTA, allows free trade among African Countries, emphasised that Research and Development (R&D) is important creativity and innovation that several companies will need to incorporate into the manufacturing environment.
Speaking on ‘’From Green to Gold: Operational Realities in the 21st Century at the 50th Anniversary of Daily-Need Industries Limited’’ in Lagos, she said this will encourage research and clinical trials of new molecules, immune-modulators, complementary alternative medicines, especially for some non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, amongst others.
Adeyeye added that an innovation that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught Nigeria is to embrace as long overdue the manufacturing of vaccines, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and excipients, stressing that until we have at least five companies as a starter, making these pharmaceutical ingredients, and one or two companies manufacturing vaccines, Nigeria will remain insecure.
Noting the strides that Daily-Need has made over the last 50 years, she expressed confidence that the diligence, strategic leadership, and response to challenges through improvement in the manufacturing premise with continuous quality monitoring, will generate a future where innovation and creativity will be embraced for drug security, health security and subsequently universal health coverage.
“Daily-Need has sown a seed using one product, the Penicillin Ointment, and the company has grown to over 20 product categories. The Bible stated in Ecclesiastes 11:6: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well”.
Adeyeye said this sheds light on operational realities in any century, especially the 21st Century as she identified The Sower, The Soil, and Creativity and Innovation of the Sower as the three operational realities in pharmaceutical development.
Adeyeye disclosed that Daily-Need was one of the companies that were inspected under the NAFDAC/UNIDO cGMP Road Map using international standards, and some of the indicators for that inspection included three for the manufacturing site – premise, equipment, and utilities.
She commended the leadership of many pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria for rising to the occasion and increased improvement in the submission has been witnessed by NAFDAC, stressing that this is part of change management that is intricately linked to continuous quality monitoring.
She further stated that it is also a preparation for when NAFDAC will move from Maturity Level 3 to ML4 and World Listed Authority; when our companies will be able to trade their products globally through the regulatory collaborative registration and reliance among national medicine regulatory agencies worldwide.
Adeyeye stated that NAFDAC is committed to supporting innovation and recognising the pharmaceutical industry through the Five-year Exclusivity introduced to local manufacturers in 2019 for manufacturing and marketing if the company can meet in-country market demand.
She said creativity in manufacturing can be shown through the targeted drive to achieve pre-qualification of the facility and product, noting that this can also be done to get certification from WHO or as part of the preparation for global trade through collaborative registration and reliance among regulators.