– As NAIP holds 22nd Annual National Conference in Anambra
To transform the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry and reposition the sector for maximum growth, stakeholders must embrace a paradigm shift, characterised by strategic innovations, Pharm. Ignatius Anukwu, national chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP); Dr Chimezie Anyakora, chief of party, PQM, United States Pharmacopea (USP); and Professor Martins Emeje, national chairman of Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA), have said.
They spoke during the 22nd Annual National Conference of NAIP, themed, “Disruptive Innovations: Unleashing the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry”, held at the Banquet Hall of Golden Tulip Hotel, Agulu, Anambra State, in the first week of May.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, Pharm. Anukwu advocated for the establishment of pharmaceutical industrial parks in Nigeria, noting that having such will help reposition the country’s pharmaceutical sector.
The NAIP boss asked the government of Anambra State to provide a portion of the space at its proposed industrial park for the pharmaceutical sector, adding that with a pharmaceutical production park where power and water treatment plants are provided and shared by a number of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, Nigerian companies will be able to produce products that are relatively competitive in the international market and penetrate other African and Western markets with locally manufactured medicines.
He also asked the government to provide arable land for the cultivation of medicinal plants, stressing that many extracts of the nation’s indigenous plants are being used for the production of nutraceuticals all over the world.
The Commissioner for Health, Anambra State, Dr Joe Akabuike, who was at the opening ceremony of the conference and also led a government delegation that held a parley with the leadership of NAIP on the proposed pharmaceutical industrial park, assured the industrial pharmacists of support from the Anambra State government. He noted that the two parties would work on the idea that had been discussed to ensure that the pharmaceutical industrial park is established in the not too distant future.
Delivering the conference’ keynote address at the opening ceremony, Dr Anyakora, while lamenting that 70 per cent of finished pharmaceutical products used in Nigeria are imported, said there is lack of capacity-building in every sphere of the pharmaceutical ecosystem in Nigeria.
He stressed that a paradigm shift is required to unleash the Nigerian pharmaceutical workforce, adding that access to pharmaceuticals must be prioritised in health and industrial policies.