… Says drug production remains at zero level
For the pharmaceutical industry to contribute meaningfully to national development, stakeholders must ensure the viability and expansion of local drug production, Pharm. Jasper Chika Onyeka, managing director of Impact Pharmaceuticals Limited, has said.
Pharm. Onyeka, who was the keynote speaker at the 2016 annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Enugu State Branch, tagged “Contributions of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers to the Development of the Economy”, stated that recent statistics has shown that the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector contributes less than one per cent to the country’s national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This trend, he cautioned, has a lot of negative implications on the citizenry as well as the nation as a whole.
Comparing the percentage of indigenously manufactured drugs to imported ones, Onyeka said, “Bulk drugs production has remained close to zero per cent, as even the most basic bulk additives, whether active or non-active, are still being imported. For active APIs, they have remained 100 per cent imported”.
Citing the Indian pharmaceutical industry as a model for Nigerian pharmacists to emulate, the pharmaceutical expert described it as one of the world’s largest and most developed, ranking fourth in volume and thirteenth in value.
“The industry now produces bulk drugs under all major therapeutic groups. It has a sizeable technically skilled man-power with prowess in process development and downstream processing,” he said.
Aside from expanding the scope of manufacturing, Onyeka also urged all key players to show interest in giving back to their immediate environment, saying this is part of the industry’s obligations to the society at large. This he said could be done through creation of jobs, supply chains and community development.
He further lauded the contributions made so far by the pharmaceutical sector to the Nigerian economy, including provision of jobs, provision of drugs and medicines that help ensure a healthy populace; reducing man hour losses thereby improving productivity; stimulating research and development in health institutions, universities and schools; and providing remedies for chronic ailments.
While appreciating the PSN members for their hearty participation and efforts towards the success of the 2016 conference, the state chairman, Pharm. (Dr) Egbuna Udeorah, said he was especially grateful to the local organising committee for their immense support in making the profession proud in the state, and more so during his first tenure as the chairman.
He however encouraged the pharmacists not to rest on their oars, noting that much is expected from them towards national development and caring for the wellbeing of man.
Pharm. Mrs Obianuju D. Anyaebosi, a facilitator at the event, who spoke on the topic, “Challenges of Pharmaceutical Care Practice in Clinical Settings”, said that the goal of pharmaceutical care is to optimize the patient’s health related quality of life and achieve positive clinical outcomes, with realistic economic expenditures.
She explained that numerous studies from other countries have confirmed that pharmacists’ involvement in patients care can improve patients’ outcomes and reduce costs.
“In a number of countries, evidence exists at hospital pharmacy level showing how lives can be saved, costs reduced and patient safety enhanced through pharmaceutical care practice.
“In Nigeria, the pharmacist’s roles continue to expand and evolve beyond the traditional product-oriented to patient-centered practice,” she stated.
She further urged all pharmacists to ensure that pharmaceutical practice restores what has been the missing link for years which is patients’ welfare and a patient advocacy role with a clear ethical mandate to protect the patient from the harmful effects of drug misuse.