In what may appear shocking to many, an expert has declared that the name Nigeria does not exist on the world pharmaceutical map.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the annual pharmacoposium, an intellectual summit of pharmacy across the federation, put together by the national body of Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS) at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on April 11, Dr Lolu Ojo, former chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) noted that despite its huge potential demand base, the country’s impact in the Pharmaceutical sector is yet to be felt on the global stage.
“As at today, 80 per cent of medicines consumed are imported while the remaining 20 per cent are produced locally. Our local industries are being under-utilised. Imagine the impact we could make if we unanimously agree to patronise the likes of Emzor, SKG and Mopson!” he remarked.
Ojo emphasised that the reason why Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, managaing director of Pharmanews Limited (in whose honour the Pharmacoposium was held) is celebrated today was because of his revolutionary idea.
“If you have an idea, don’t let it go. It has the potential to change the dynamics of the world. As a former PANS president myself, I remember inviting Sir Atueyi as keynote speaker to our event at this same Ile-Ife in 1984.
“Though he seemed not to remember now, that further highlights how great he is. I thank PANS for choosing to honour him with this event and for choosing me as the keynote speaker,” he enthused.
While harping on the theme “Quantum Shift In Pharmacy & Resulting Opportunities: The Place of the Media”, the keynote speaker stressed that pharmacy practice has moved from the era of pharmacists operating behind a small space to getting fully involved in patient care.
“Just as the United States politics experienced a quantum shift with a change of government that many of us didn’t expect, pharmacy practice has equally experienced such quantum leap.
“Who could have predicted that a pharmacist can rose to become vice chancellor of a prestigious institution like OAU as we have in the case of Prof. (Anthony) Elujoba? The way we see and do things now has changed. That is the quantum leap we are talking about,” he said.