Sequel to the introduction of the new registration fees for medicines and other products by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which has hitherto generated serious concerns among stakeholders, the NAFDAC Governing Council has put on hold the implementation of the new tariffs which came into effect on 1 June 2019.
The Chairman, NAFDAC Governing Council, Hon. Inuwa Abdul-Kadir who made the disclosure in Lagos on Thursday, at an emergency stakeholder’s forum and meeting of the Governing Council, said the status quo remains while NAFDAC will continue to dialogue with all the concerned stakeholders on the tariff review and other regulatory issues.
Abdul-Kadir, who appealed to all concerned about the new registration tarrifs to remain calm, stated that the Council is much more concern about the inputs of stakeholders in the new tarrifs regime, thus there will be a review of the new tarrifs before the agency releases it.
According to a press statement signed by the NAFDAC Director of Public Affairs, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, the Council Chairman explained reasons for the suspension of the new tariffs, noting that it was borne out of NAFDAC’s avowed commitment to the promotion of the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
His words: “The need to carry along our stakeholders in decision making is in line with global best practices. NAFDAC will continue to promote the manufacture, exportation and importation of good quality products. We need to promote local manufacturing of regulated products as part of Federal Government’s concerted efforts to create jobs and increase Foreign Exchange earnings by our dear nation. Nigeria has potential of producing pharmaceutical products for the domestic consumption and export to West African Countries”
The Chairman, who was a former Minister of Youths stressed the need for NAFDAC to procure new Laboratory equipment, operational vehicles and other facilities to enable it render quality and efficient regulatory services, monitor and carry out enforcement activities towards safeguarding the health of the nation.
Abdul-Kadir said the agency will ultimately evolve separate tariffs for the over 35 million MSME operators dealing on NAFDAC regulated products while also ensuring that they adhere strictly to extant regulations without compromise.
Prior to the suspension of the new registration fees, pharmacists and other stakeholders had taken to the pages of national dailies to condemn the action, stating the consequences of such action to include 100 per cent increase in prices of drugs, increase in number of fake drugs in circulation, and other disruptions to the local manufacturers and importers of pharmaceutical products in the country.
They are urged the agency to simply the bureaucratic delays associated with registration of drugs and related products, which has been taking over two years to accomplish registration status in some bizarre cases.