FG reaffirms desire to curb rising cost of drugs—NAFDAC

The Federal Government has pledged to bring down soaring cost of medications to make it affordable to Nigerians.

The Director -General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeye gave the assurance at a webinar lecture organised by The Cable Newspaper, to celebrate its 10th anniversary with the theme: ‘Addressing Costs of Medicines’.

Adeyeye said the current high cost of medicines in the country will become a thing of the past as the Agency is working in partnership with pharmaceutical industries to bring down the cost of drugs.

She identified rejuvenation of the local pharmaceutical industries as a panacea for high cost of medicines in the country.

The D-G said that locally manufactured medicinal products would be more accessible and affordable compared to the imported drugs if local pharmaceutical industries are rejuvenated.

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She said the devaluation of the Naira accounted largely for high cost of production locally as the high exchange rate made procurement of raw materials and equipment imported for production extremely high.

She said that due to difficulty associated with procurement of dollar, cost of the imported drugs has hit the roof, adding that the two multinationals industries that left the country also amounted to the high cost of some medicals.

Adeyeye also disclosed that NAFDAC under her leadership started the “5 plus 5” regulatory scheme which entail companies importing drugs that could be produced by local pharmaceutical industry to get a last five-year renewal.

She said that during the five-year renewal period, the importer must migrate to local manufacturing or partner with local manufacturer, adding that this was an outcome of a study.

She said that over 30 per cent of new companies in Nigeria sprung up as a results of the “5 plus 5” initiative, adding that it had encouraged many importers to build their companies.

Adeyeye stressed that some of the NAFDAC initiatives were aimed at reducing the cost of drugs, adding that local manufacturing cannot start without strengthening the regulatory process.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate was also quoted as saying that the policy measures put in place by President Bola Tinubu would soon begin to reflect on essential medical commodities.

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