Reviving NIPRD to boost herbal medicine research
• FG appoints Obi Adigwe as new DG, pledges commitment to natural medicine development
As part of efforts to boost development of drugs, biological products and pharmaceutical raw materials from indigenous resources in Nigeria, the Federal Government has appointed Dr Obi Peter Adigwe as the new Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).
The appointment by the Presidency followed Dr Adigwe’s emergence as the top scorer in a merit driven rigorous and comprehensive interview process, which had in attendance, some of the best candidates in NIPRD.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who signed the letter of appointment urged the new DG to ensure that while he drive the research for new pharmaceutical materials, he must also endeavor to improve on present achievements in the institution.
“I urge you to justify the confidence reposed in you by this appointment and work with all stakeholders for industrial peace and in support of president Muhammadu Buhari’s change agenda,” the minister stated.
NIPRD is known for excellent research and development of herbal medicine, which has gained recognition in the market, they include, NIPRISAN’ for the management of sickle cell anaemia, NIPRIMAL, an anti-malaria drug, NIPRIMUNE, an immunostimulant for managing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), NIPRIFAN for the treatment of fungal skin infection and NIPRD Oil, used as a nasal decongestant, insect repellant, air freshener and an anti-inflammatory agent.
Meanwhile, new DG would assist the institute, established in 1987 under the Science and Technology Act of 1980, achieve its vision of building a centre of excellence in research and development of phytomedicines, pharmaceutical and biological products, drugs as well as diagnostics towards improving the health and well-being of mankind.
Prior to his appointment as DG NIPRD, Dr Adigwe was the Executive Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group (PMGMAN), where he played a key role in the development and implementation of policy initiatives, which made considerable impact on the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Some of his achievements in PMGMAN include the prioritisation of the Pharma Industry in the 2016 Fiscal Policy, and the organisation of the Landmark 2017 Pharma Expo. He also made significant contributions to the conceptualization of the internationally renowned Medicines’ Security Concept.
Dr Adigwe was also the pioneer Head of the Health Policy Research and Development (HPRD) Unit at the Nigerian National Assembly, where he formulated research and development strategies in Health Policy as well as developed innovative and contextual training, research and capacity building modules.
He has a significant number of peer-reviewed publications including the first K.A.P. study on Ebola in Nigeria, as well as a seminal paper on Rational Use of Medicines. While in the United Kingdom, he had also co-authored a write-up that influenced an epoch-making health policy reform in the British Parliament.
However, the new DG has undertaken many National assignments, and has headed, as well as served on numerous committees and working groups at the highest levels, such as the D8, United Nations, World Health Organisation, The African Union and the ECOWAS.
He has won several academic honours including the prestigious University of Leeds’ GRASS Post-Doctorate award. His appointment takes effect immediately.
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