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Yobe tasks states to embrace life-saving health commodities

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The Yobe State Government has urged other states to key into the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement brokered by the Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (ARC_ESM), for residents to access essential health commodities at an affordable price.

At a breakfast meeting with State Commissioners for Health, to share lessons learnt from its current collaboration with local pharmaceutical companies, the Yobe State Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammed Lawan Gana, said the state had succeeded in procuring health commodities directly from local Pharma.

Last year, the health ministry took the bold step to seek opportunities to procure essential medicines directly from local pharmaceutical companies through a PPP arrangement to ensure its people at the primary health care centres across the state have access to quality and affordable medicines.

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Due to the frosty relationship that had existed between pharmaceutical companies and state governments, as a result of delayed or non-payment for drugs supplied, the Yobe State Government approached the ARC_ESM to facilitate the partnership with specific objectives and terms.

ARC_ESM proceeded to engage the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) highlighting the objectives and the opportunities that emerge from such a partnership including the scale-up of the partnership model to other states.

On August 10, 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the ministry and three Local Pharmaceutical (LPs) companies – Fidson Healthcare Plc, Juhel Nigeria Limited and Drugfield Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited. With ARC_ESM and PMG-MAN serving as brokers, both parties ensured that the agreement was upheld in addition to prompt delivery of drugs to the state and payment by the state government.

In March 2021, two additional LPs and a local distributor signed an MoU with the ministry – SKG Pharma, May & Baker Nigeria and Phillips Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited, due to three key factors – competent health professionals at the helm of affairs at the ministry; the political will demonstrated by Governor Mai Mala Buni and the commitment to ensure prompt payment to the LPs in line with the agreed timelines for supplied health commodities.

It was learnt that the request by other states to begin similar arrangements, necessitated the hosting of the breakfast meeting, to share experience and lessons, while encouraging other states to consider a similar model to ensure the availability of essential medicines across their states.

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