Eminent pharmacists, among whom were Pharm. Lere Baale, CEO, Business School Netherlands, Nigeria; Pharm. Sam Ohuabunwa, national president of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC); and Pharm. ‘Gbenga Falabi, national chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP), have backed the quest to accelerate the transformation of the Nigerian pharma industry to enable it contribute more to the nation’s economy.
The pharmacists who spoke at the opening ceremony of the 20th Annual National Conference of NAIP held at Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, with the theme: “Growing the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry for Greater Economic Impact,” were unanimous that the time has come for stakeholders in the pharma industry to come together to grow the industry.
Baale said that even though the idea may not be very popular, it is now necessary to restructure the education sector as most of the products coming out of the education system are not suitable for the work available, adding that it is urgently important to have strong collaboration between the academics and the industry.
He also noted that stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry must equally work with the regulatory agencies and embrace collaboration with other companies and organisations even outside the country, stressing that there are more advantages in partnership than going it alone.
Baale further added that to grow pharmaceutical business, industry players must support their business growth with a good marketing plan, noting that good marketing is crucial to the success of all business ventures.
He also urged stakeholders in the pharma industry to embrace Research and Development (R & D) noting that pharma operators must constantly do research and roll out new products.
Also speaking at the event, Pharm. Gbenga Falabi said that industry stakeholders must come together to dissect the federal government’s National Health and Drug Policy to create a positive attraction for prosperity for Nigeria’s pharma industry.
He said the industry must look at what could be done to improve health workers training, local production of essential pharmaceutical product and access to health care, which is currently put at 40 per cent of the nation’s semi-urban/urban areas.
Dignitaries at the event included Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, president, PSN; Pharm. (Dr) Lolu Ojo, MD/CEO, Merit Healthcare Limited; Pharm. Monica Eimunjeze, deputy director, NAFDAC; Prof. Chinedum Babalola, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan; and Pharm. Ade Popoola, former chairman, PSN Board of Fellows.