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Pharmacists charge WHO on Africa, world practice


WHOTHE National Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) has called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to review its policy on Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP), describing it as the absence of level playing field between pharmaceutical companies in developed world and developing countries.

Making the observation, Kano State NAIP Chairman, Bala Maikudi, maintained that it was very difficult for them to be professionally compared with others in the developed world.
“We were being told in the last three or four years back that we needed to upgrade our industries to CGMP status. This is almost impossible. You see even in the developed world it is not all the industries that achieve certified CGMP status,” he explained.

Maikudi stated, “We are therefore calling on WHO to sit down with pharmacists from the developing nations to discuss and come up with practical things concerning this CGMP.”

The NAIP Chairman admitted that Nigerian and African practitioners do not have the financial wherewithal to compete with counterparts in Europe, America and some Asian states.
“So we should have our Nigerian standard. Some of us have been in this business for the last 20 to 25 years, and people have been taking our drugs without any problem. Why then this sudden change and development that we need to be on the same standard with developed world?” he asked rhetorically.

He also challenged that one should look at the position of the pharmaceutical industries of the developed world in the last 50 to 60 years and see how they were faring, before they reached their present status.

When asked about the recent call made by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole on the need for the pharmaceutical manufacturers to invest in local production of vaccines, Maikudi said that was practically impossible.

According to him there was no such conducive atmosphere for that. “The issue here in Nigeria is such that we cannot produce drugs in Nigeria, we only compound drugs here. For example even paracetamol powder is imported. So also all the other additives,” he revealed.
He therefore called on the government to do something about it by assembling stakeholders to discuss to see how to make progress in that.

“It may be capital intensive, but at the end of the day something greater can be achieved,” he said.
On the public private partnership Pharm. Maukudi assured that it was something that could be done, but as the situation was, as a result of the technicalities involved it could be difficult.
“If as an individual you cannot have fund and cannot access funds either from government or from bank then there could be no way for you to make progress,” said Maikudi.

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