By Sola Ogundipe
The Federal government has been tasked to prioritise the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector because the straddles both healthcare and manufacturing industry.
Making the call in Lagos during the Nigeria Pharma Manufacturers Expo (NPME 2017), Executive Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMGMAN, Dr Obi Adigwe, said the health sector and the manufacturing industry are two areas where the current government has indicated interest to prioritise.
According to Adigwe, government at Federal and state levels need to prioritise the local pharma industry in terms of procurement.
“Government is a big spender, and there is need to prioritise these high quality medicines in Nigeria, and to prioritise patronage, we need to work together with all key stakeholders.
“In prioritising the pharma industry, there is need to review the import prohibition list and ensure the local manufacturing industry survives.
“The Nigerian pharma sector has asked for a review of the import prohibition list that has been at 15 drugs for over 10 years now. Ghana that came to copy that particular policy from us has trebled its own list of medicines that cannot be imported. That list needs to be reviewed quickly.” he avowed.
Further, he said: “The local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry has asked for a pharmaceutical development fund of N300 billion which will expedite development within the sector and translate to exports, more jobs and increased medicines security.”
According to Adigwe, “organising this expo was particularly challenging because of Forex issues but by the time we had that under control we were swamped by requests from foreign investors
“The exhibition showcased what is manufactured in Nigeria, as well as for the international partners who manufacture machinery to come and showcase to our manufracturers.
“This year, we brought in a theme to enable people discuss relevant issues in local manufacturing. The theme was “Improving Access to Healthcare in Nigeria: Strategic Partnerships to Achieve Medicine Security &