Managing director of Mopson Pharmaceuticals Limited, Pharm. Michael Paul, has urged pharmacy students in Nigerian tertiary institutions to take active interest in pharmaceutical manufacturing after graduation.
Addressing final year students of the Faculty of Pharmacy University of Lagos (UNILAG) during the maiden edition of practice grand rounds, organised by the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA), on 27 February, 2004, Pharm. Paul said he was saddened by the fact that after almost 50 years of training pharmacists, the Nigeria pharma manufacturing was yet to get it right.
“By now we should have young Nigerian pharmacists who can make syrup and capsule with ease. What do we get instead, Nigerians importing just anything! Are we saying Nigerians can’t produce ordinary antacid?” he queried.
The Mopson boss wondered why foreign brands were made to look more superior to local products, adding that it was funny how people hoped to run away from their own creation.
While admonishing the gathering not to give up on the dream of a viable pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, the pharmacist admonished that people should be proud of made-in-Nigeria products.
A Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Paul also berated the overzealous nature of fresh pharmacy interns who only focus on how much they can earn instead of garnering industrial experience and contributing to the growth of the profession with passion.
While describing such practice as unethical and detestable, Paul said that he had observed that most interns were in the habit of demanding to be paid N100,000.
“Where is that coming from? Listen to me, as young pharmacists, what you need is the industrial experience, especially if you are interested in going into manufacturing. It is achievable! Let me be frank with you, I started with Mist Mag after leaving the industry as a sales rep.
“Today there is nothing in BPC (British Pharmaceutical Company) that I cannot produce. If you ask me, that should be an achievement for any pharmacist,” he said.
The 2015 NAPA-organised practice grand rounds for pharmacy students in 300, 400 and 500 levels was the inaugural edition.
In attendance were Pharm George Okon, zonal chairman, Eti-Osa branch of the Association for Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN); Dr Chikezie Amadi, a consultant cardiologist with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); Prof. Oluwakemi Odukoya, dean, UNILAG Faculty of Pharmacy; and Pharm. Oluwatosin Adeyemi, chairman, Lagos branch of NAPA.
Others were Pharm. Bamisaye Ogawaluja, NAPA vice chairman; Pharm. (Mrs) Fatima Ikolaba, treasurer; Pharm (Mrs) Ogochukwu Amaeze, financial secretary; Dr Chukwuemeka Azubuike, staff adviser and Pharm. Joseph Oiseoghaede, secretary.