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Local manufacturers seek improved investment in quality medicine

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Frank Jacobs, MAN President

To reduce dependence on importation of quality medicine, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry have advocated improved investments in drugs production in the country.

Citing the need for medicine security, the stakeholders noted that a country with a population size like Nigeria cannot afford to depend on importation of key therapeutic agents.

Besides, MAN also commended Juhel Nigeria Limited for investing in a manufacturing plant for the production of maternal commodities and medicine such as magnesium sulphate and oxytocin injection.

Addressing journalists on the development, MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs stated that the new plant will further aid backward integration of medicines that were hitherto imported into the country.

According to him, with the efficacy of many imported oxytocin not guaranteed, going by the outcome of the research conducted by several development and regulatory agencies, local production of the medicine is the best development to happen to the country.

“This development will aid foreign exchange conservation, improve accessibility of the medicine to many Nigerians in terms of price and location as well as guarantee the potency of the medicine considering the environmental conditions in which the products will be manufactured”, he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of Juhel Nigeria Limited, Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye explained that the motivation to establish the plant was as a result of the low quality products being circulated in the country.

“Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) or excessive bleeding after childbirth, is one of the major complications of child births and it accounts for 20-30 per cent of all maternal deaths. However, PPH is both treatable and preventable using according to WHO recommended guidelines, oxytocin injection as a frontline drug of choice.

“Despite the availability of myriad of imported brands in the country, the fatality of maternal death is still high due to low quality of oxytocin injections in hospitals and clinics across Nigeria. The result of a research conducted by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention/Promoting the Quality of Medicine (PQM) project supported by USAID and NAFDAC, showed that 74.2 per cent of oxytocin in circulation failed quality laboratory evaluation.

“To this end, USP for two years collaborated with Juhel Nigeria Limited towards the production of these maternal commodities and the manufacturing plant is our contribution towards reducing the maternal death burden in Nigeria”, he explained further.

On the firm’s ability to meet local demand and checking faking, Okoye said the production plant’s capacity can meet demand in Nigeria and the Sub-Saharan African region, while processes have been put in place to checking counterfeiting or activities that may reduce the potency of the medicine.

Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) Simon Okey Akpa urged for the right policies and support to encourage investments in the nation’s pharmaceutical sector.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was represented by Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi commended the firm for the investments noting that such efforts will further promote national development.


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