Poor economy is killing our pharmaceutical sector says President PSN, Ohuabunwa

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN has asked the federal government to assent to the long-standing Pharmacy Bill.

President of the medicine dispensary body, Sam Ohuabunwa made the call during the 92nd PSN conference held at the International Trade Fair Center, Zaria Road, Kaduna, Kaduna State, with the theme: Navigating the Winds of Change in Professional Practice in a Volatile Economy

Ohuabunwa lamented that the spate of unemployment and persistent poverty in the country has led many young Nigerians to venture to quackery in pharmaceuticals just to survive.

He, however, maintains that the PSN will continue to focus on raising standards in terms of quality of pharmaceutical products, access to patients, consumers, enhanced pharmaceutical care, and preventing drug misuse as well as arresting the rampage of drug abuse.

Also speaking at the event was Prof. Patrick Utomi who stressed that the absence of a National Strategy to improve the economy makes Nigeria a recursive economy, leaving citizens dependent on countries like Indonesia for pharmaceuticals.

The lack of national strategy he says can be seen in the biggest crisis the pharmaceutical sector has faced in Nigeria.

But the federal government insists that the PSN must continue to focus on raising standards in terms of quality of pharmaceutical products.

It tasked the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to improve on the present quality and standard of Pharmaceuticals in Nigeria in order to reach internationally accepted standards and facilitate competition with countries such as China, India, and Turkey

The Honourable Minister of State, Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora said “Inflation is a major effect of a volatile economy and if not properly managed by government to protect the pharmaceutical industry, would result in shortages of raw materials as well as create an unstable supply chain, this ultimately may lead to a national shortage of quality, safe and affordable essential medicines for the populace’’.

He emphasized the need for increased financial support to the sector to aid technological advancement and WHO pre-qualification for indigenous products.

‘It is common knowledge that the exchange rate and its volatility are critical factors that influence economic activities in Nigeria, that is why foreign exchange (FX) market fluctuations have always attracted considerable attention in both the economics and statistics literature’’.

He pledged to work with agencies in the health sector, such as the PCN, Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), NAFDAC, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), to create an enabling environment for pharmaceutical companies operating in Nigeria to function in full capacity despite the effects of the economic fluctuations.

 

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