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Nigeria’s inability to meet medical items worries minister

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Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has lamented the country’s inability to meet its need of simple medical equipment like plaster, cotton bandage, face masks and surgical gloves required to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Speaking at the inauguration of the Governing Council of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) yesterday in Abuja, Ehanire observed that the outbreak of COVID-19 brought to the fore the vulnerability of the nation as it concerned medicine security.

He urged the governing council to re-focus on the various aspects of the profession to meet today’s realities. Noting PCN as vital to the healthcare system, as reflected in its function in the regulation of the training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and the practice of pharmacy, he added that key issues that should engage the attention of the council include standard of training, code and ethics of practice, proliferation of illegal premises, unsatisfactory distribution of medicines, and drug abuse.

“Players in the profession and the pharmaceutical industry need to think of bigger things. They must dream dreams and build real pharmaceutical entities that will meet the expectation of the nation.

“Entrepreneurs need to pool resources in order to be strong and big enough to dabble into the very competitive global market. Experience from Europe and America clearly shows that this is the way forward. The PCN Council should make efforts to bring all players in the industry together,” the minister said.

He called on pharmacists in Nigeria to immediately start to think of new ways of doing things, as “the focus on importation of finished products and compounding of raw materials is not acceptable.”

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