How to ensure drug security in Nigeria, by PSN
• Society to inaugurate president, 112 new fellows
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), yesterday, in Lagos, announced plans on how to ensure drug security in the country.
Its President, Prof. Cyril Usifoh, at a press briefing ahead of his inauguration and investiture of 112 fellows in Abuja on February 10, said: “Top on my agenda is to boost local capacity for manufacturing of essential medicines, including vaccines, while ensuring availability of medicines which cannot be manufactured by the local industry for the health system.
“In addition, I will ensure significant improvement in research and development by looking for alternative sources of funding apart from government sources to the Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), faculties of pharmacies, drug revolving and procurement units, centres for drug development and related platforms.”
He continued: “To ensure drug/medicine security, local manufacturing is a must. If you don’t have medicine security as a country, you are vulnerable. It is just like saying you don’t have food security. If you don’t have most of the drugs you need as a country, just like COVID-19 has shown us, you will be in trouble. We cannot depend on other countries for our essential drug needs.
“Even the NIPRD that we are talking about has made lots of discoveries on herbal remedies for COVID-19 and other diseases. We have to make sure that they are supported.”
We have to get the government to realise that it is important to make oil refineries to produce petrochemicals needed as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the production of drugs.”
Usifoh also called for institutionalisation of PharmD programme and consultancy cadre agenda to enhance service potential and catalyse an increase in the ways of hospital and academic pharmacists.
He promised to promote advocacy to fast-track the recognition of community pharmacies as primary care centres in accordance with the National Health Act 2014.
He said PSN would see to the establishment of the National Post Graduate College of Pharmacists to complement the consultancy cadre agenda, while also working with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and relevant stakeholders.
The PSN boss added: “As president, I strongly believe in team work and will ensure that I delegate duties where necessary and monitor the implementation. Within the last two months, we have been able to collaborate with appropriate agencies and community pharmacies are now centres for COVID-19 vaccinations. The pharmacy consultancy cadre has been firmly established. More schools of pharmacy are undergoing accreditation for PharmD programme.
“I will provide a purpose-driven leadership for all technical and interest groups of PSN. I hereby solicit your cooperation in this journey of improving healthcare delivery to Nigerians, especially with regards to pharmaceutical best practices.”