Given the numerous challenges bedeviling the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria and the urgent need to address the issues, a former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm. U. N. O Uwaga, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to appoint a special adviser on pharmaceuticals, who will work directly with him on pharmaceutical matters.
Pharm. Uwaga made the call on Thursday at the plenary session of the ongoing Annual National Conference of the PSN holding at the International Conference Centre, Gombe State, North-East region.
The erstwhile PSN President made the call against the backdrop of the multiple challenges facing the industry, which he said has been working against the attainment of medicine security in the country.
He stressed that medicine security is as important as food security in every nation; hence Nigeria must vigorously pursue it with sincerity, adding that the president needs to act on it.
According to Uwaga, the experience during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has made it paramount for Nigeria to work towards self-reliance on drug production and achieve medicine security.
He said: “There is a need to pursue drug security just as we are pursuing food security. We need someone in the presidency who will have the president’s ear and then discuss issues revolving around the development of the pharmaceutical industry. The president should appoint a special adviser on pharmaceuticals”.
The pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria has been faced with several challenges that require the urgent intervention of the Nigerian President, and top among the challenges that require President Tinubu’s urgent intervention, according to concerned players in the industry include the forex scarcity, inadequate capital to prosecute capital project and high-interest rate.
Other problems facing the pharma industry that have been enumerated by stakeholders in several fora include lack of electricity, multiple taxation, and lack of government patronage.