PSN Lauds FG, May&Baker Partnership on Vaccine Production
-May&Baker MD says vaccines will be ready in two years time
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has described the recently announced agreement between the Federal Government and May & Baker Plc to produce yellow fever vaccine locally was a step in the right direction.
The Federal Executive Council had during the week approved the agreement, which would be in place from 2017 to 2021.
According to the PSN, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the Federal Government would adopt a Public Private Partnership model in the production of the vaccine locally.
The Managing Director/CEO, May & Baker Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, gave Pharmanewsonline.com further information on the partnership, saying although the deed has been signed but it will take about two years for the vaccines to be ready, as there are a lot of things to be put in place for smooth production of vaccines to commence.
Okafor, who noted that they will focus on paediatrics’ and adults vaccines production, particularly, yellow fever vaccine, which he said was always in short supply whenever there is an outbreak, because there are few companies producing it.
His words: ” It has been observed overtime that that yellow fever vaccines are always in shortfall whenever there is an outbreak, probably due to the few number of companies into the production; thus we have decided yellow fever vaccine will be our major vaccine, thereafter, we will consider our vaccines as the funds are made available.”
When asked whether the partnership will consider the production of Ebola and Lassa fever vaccines, he said :” as for now, they are not our priority, although they are very important areas to look into, but some laboratories are research institutes are already working on those diseases areas”.
As per whether the vaccines would be subsidised for consumers, he said the govt is in the best position to answer the question, he however assured the populace that they will ensure they peg the prices along other competitive vaccines.
In a statement jointly signed by the President and Secretary of the PSN, Mr. Ahmed Yakasai and Mr. Gbolagade Iyiola respectively, the society, while commending the Federal Government for the move, said it would go a long way in guaranteeing the availability of vaccines for use in routine immunisation programmes and during emergency diseases outbreak.
The statement said, “We call on May & Baker to take full advantage of this onerous opportunity to improve the quality of life. However, PSN is urging the government to extend this gesture to other pharmaceutical companies in local production of other essential medicines, especially anti-malaria and anti-infectives as solution to the nation’s over-dependency on importation.
“We wish to submit that further robust collaborative efforts of this nature will go a long way in boosting the availability and affordability of safe and efficacious medicines and vaccines for all Nigerians.”
In a similar manner, the PSN hailed the Federal Government on its executive order that granted a minimum of 40 per cent procurement for locally manufactured goods by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The order was signed on May 18, 2017 by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The society said the move would give a boost to the pharmaceutical industry in the country by guaranteeing adequate medicine supply for local usage as well as export.