Pharmacists Seek Extension of Import Waiver to Essential Drugs

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Pharmacists under the umbrella of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have craved the indulgence of the President, Major General Rted Muhammadu Buhari to extend import waiver on medical supplies to essential drugs, as clinicians have been employing combinations of different drug regimen to treat COVID-19 patients.

The PSN President, Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, noted that there is no established treatment protocol the world over for the novel Coronavirus, as clinicians have employed combinations of different drug regimen to treat the manifested symptoms.

Speaking through a press release, he said: “We request that the waiver be extended to all essential drugs and not only those related to COVID-19 specifically, for many reasons”.

Mazi. Sam Ohuabunwa, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)

Ohuabunwa, explained that there is supply chain pressure, which has brought about spike in prices of essential drugs, and have left patients financially incapacitated.
He also pointed out the absence of medical palliative for the populace for now, though government is providing food palliatives, but no medical provision, for the citizenry with limited funds at their disposal.

The PSN helms man said: “Most of these repurposed medications are already in use by other patients leading to pressure on the supply chain thereby instigating price increase.

“Nigerians who are on eased phased of the lockdown have reduced disposable income to buy medicines. Government is giving food palliative but no medicine palliative. Removing duties and levies on all essential medicines will be one way to provide medical palliative for the Nigerian poor”, he averred.

For the most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, the aged population, with some underlying chronic diseases, he said they need essential medicines like antidiabetics, antihypertensives and anticancer medications, to survive the period.

“With the blow of the COVID-19 on the world’s economy, the people will find it difficult to maintain optimal health if the entire cost of medication is unleashed on them.

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“Once again, we commend Mr President and his team, for these timely interventions and implore on him to ensure strict implementation of the order. We will not hesitate to point the way to other low hanging fruits towards the realisation of world best practises in pharmaceutical care”, he noted.

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