The Federation of Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (FeNPIA), the organisation that represents the pharmaceutical industry, has called on the federal government to set up a N600 billion Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Development Fund with a five percent interest rate for a minimum of seven to ten years.
President of the Association, Dr. Okey Akpa, disclosed during the Pharmaceutical Stakeholders' Consultative Forum held in Lagos yesterday, that the majority of Nigerian pharmaceutical companies import Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to manufacture the drugs they sell. This fund, according to him, will encourage local manufacturers of APIs, vaccinations, essential supply chain interventions, and research and development (R&D), among other things.
He said the money will go towards regulatory development, bioequivalence research, World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalification, and the pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain.
Speaking at the forum, the coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate disclosed that the Tinubu government is making every effort to guarantee that the pharmaceutical industry thrives and Nigeria has access to reasonably priced and secure medical supplies to enhance the general health of the entire population.
He said: “We know it is not easy for Nigerians at this period and time would come when Nigeria will rise again. We are confident that pharmaceutical industry will survive.
“Government is also concerned about regulation of what is being produced in the country to ensure that only quality ones are produced.” Pate stated that things would not be business as usual because this was the first time that the government and pharmaceutical companies had held a high-level conversation. Prof. Cyril Usifoh, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), reaffirmed the organization's request that pharmacists be acknowledged as primary healthcare professionals.
While declaring full support of the pharmaceutical industry to Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, and his agenda of "Unlocking the Healthcare Value Chain" under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Akpa made the claim that resolving these issues will enable the pharmaceutical sector to become self-sufficient and assist in becoming a net exporter of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and vaccines to Africa and other regions.