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FG restates belief in efficacy of local drugs

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Like some Asian countries, Nigeria may have to depend on local medication in its quest for safe and effective drugs.Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, yesterday, frowned at Nigeria’s over-dependence on imported medicine and its inability to attain self-sufficiency.

Speaking at the fifth Nigeria Pharma Manufacturers’ Expo in Lagos, Mamora said though the country had seen the efforts of its agencies in checking influx of foreign drugs, it should use what it has and even reach out to trado-medics to ensure efficacy and safety of drugs made available to citizens.

“What I am seeing is the capacity we desire and the determination of our people to really address the issue of sufficiency of medicine. We are also talking about home-grown, that is, looking at what we have to get the best.

“All we want to be sure of is the efficacy and safety of the drugs available to us. I have seen a lot of technology that will aid the attainment of this desired and desirable approach,” he said.

The chairman, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), Dr. Fidelis Ayebae, described as worrisome the country’s over-dependence on imports and donor aid to satisfy the essential medicine need of her rapidly growing population, while its facilities are abysmally under-utilised.

“More discouraging is that those products, which the industry in the country has the capacity and competence to produce locally are imported,” he stressed.According to Ayebae, if Nigeria is to attain self-sufficiency and ensure medicine security, deliberate radical policy must be put in place.

Meanwhile, the High Commissioner of India, Shri Abhay Thakur, urged Nigeria to lesson from India.He noted that Nigeria has the wherewithal to become a net supplier of pharmaceutical products for the Central and West African markets, if it supports domestic pharmaceutical production.


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Adeleke Mamora
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