The Federal Government has been urged to provide a friendly environment for indigenous drug manufacturers to boost local production. A good number of drugs are really becoming unavailable in pharmaceutical stores as a result of FOREX issues.
Giving insights on the impact of the current economic challenges in Nigeria on drug availabilty, the Chairman of Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, Pharm. Abiola Paul-Ozieh, stated that certain types of drugs are becoming scarce due to the inability of importers to bring in the right brands as a result of lack of foreign exchange. He attributed this to the present economic recession and further stated that there is the need for the government to enhance the capacity utilisation of drug manufacturing company in Nigeria.
While giving more insights on the impact of the current economic challenges, Paul-Ozieh stated that drugs are really becoming scarce because Forex is no longer available, and a good number of drugs that we consume in Nigeria are just imported and these drugs are no longer easy to be located in the market, due to constant hike in price.
She further expressed that the Continuing Education Conference, happening this year, which is themed “Impact of Manpower Development on Community Pharmacy Sustainability” is designed to promote and enhance more professional skills, business skills for most community pharmacists in the country.
Ozieh stated that the programme would actually empower community pharmacists to know and understand the current economic reality and enable them known the current options that are available for small and medium scale enterprises.
“Majority of us in the community are just yet to come to terms especially in an economic situation like this, so we want to actually see how we can cope and scale through these odds, and as well know the available options for us, including the options that could mitigate the effects.”
Speaking on his own part, the National Chairman of ACPN, Pharm. Albert Kelong Alkali, enjoined the Federal Government to put more focus on the health sector.
“The Federal government need to take off the cost of the importation of raw materials from drugs by all means, appoint a Director-General for NAFDAC to enable proper regulation and control, making sure Nigerians are not exposed to those fake and counterfeit products out there.”
However, the Group Managing Director, Reals Group, Pharm. Ade Popoola said that Nigeria is really operating at an inflation rate of about 18.3 percent and that if care is not taken, it could be dangerous for retailers, especially the community pharmacists.