Africa Loses Over N8.8T Yearly Due To Over-reliance On Imported Medicine

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria claims that Africa loses at least $16 billion (N8.8 trillion) a year because 94 per cent of its pharmaceutical and medical needs are imported.

Former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Odein Ajumogobia tied the figure to a recent estimate by UN Economic Commission for Africa.

“This is a terrible indictment and highlights the need for research and policies that will promote increased growth, equitable distribution and retention, especially in the underserved North-East and North-West states,” said Mr Ajumogobia.

According to the former minister, the country’s medicine supply is susceptible to shortage “since there is limited local production and more than 70 per cent of the drug supply is imported, creating a huge supply-demand disparity particularly in times when a virus-like COVID-19 is a threat”.

Mazi Ohuabunwa, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, believes the issue will not be solved without proper laws in place, as well as adequate national support for local pharmaceutical companies.

“The intendment of the government to have a sanitised and ordered pharmaceutical distribution system can never be achieved without adequate legislation,” said Mr Ohuabunwa.

“Therefore, the subsisting need to support the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control with stronger legislation and empowerment must receive greater attention than it is getting now.”


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