Experts Lament Poor Medication Adherence, Rising Diabetes Cases in Nigeria

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…As Micro Nova launches Dapzin for Diabetes Management

Experts Lament Poor Medication Adherence, Rising Diabetes Cases in Nigeria
A cross-section of experts and dignitaries at the launch of Dapzin in Lagos, recently.

Seasoned medical experts, including Prof. Olufemi Fasanmade, a consultant endocrinologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); Prof. Amam Mbakwem, a consultant cardiologist at LUTH; and Prof. Babatope Kolawole, a consultant physician/endocrinologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), have identified poor medication adherence, poor lifestyle, increased consumption of western diets and sedentary living as factors fueling the prevalence of diabetes in Nigeria, especially among those living in urban areas.

The experts made the observations at the launch of Dapzin, a brand of Dapagliflozin, by Micro Nova Pharmaceuticals Industry Limited, at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, recently.

In his presentation titled, “Addressing the Unmet Needs of Type2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Comorbidities”, Prof Fasanmade, described diabetes as a complex disease with multi-systemic effects on many organs of the body and often requires patients to see different specialists, adding that the prevalence of diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa is about 24 million, out of which Nigeria accounts for 4-5 million, with one in every 10 adults in Nigeria affected. This, he said, makes diabetes a serious health threat in this part of the globe.

Speaking further, Fasanmade, who is the president, Endocrine and Metabolism Society of Nigeria, and the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, expressed concern over the dearth of trained endocrinologists in Nigeria, adding that Nigeria has only 150 to 200 endocrinologists to serve its over 200 million people.

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“Many states in Nigeria do not have more than 2 to 3 endocrinologists, and with the complexity of diabetes, we have no choice but to rely on other experts like cardiologists, nephrologists, paediatrists, family medicine experts, and of course the pharmacists, whom we cannot do without, among several other specialists to get the job done, because if we fail to manage the patients well, we will be sending them to the early grave”, he said.

Prof. Fasanmade, who was a former chairman, of the Medical Advisory Committee, LUTH, while speaking on the benefit of Dapagliflozin described Dapzin as a very valuable medication which has come to meet the unmet needs of diabetes patients in the country.

Also speaking, Prof. Amam Mbakwem, in her presentation titled “Dapagliflozin: Cardiovascular Benefit Beyond Glycemic Control- Translating Evidence into Practice”, noted that diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, not just by the blood sugar, as patients with type2 diabetes have twice the risk of cardiovascular diseases compared with the general population, adding that there is the chance that one may die earlier than others if he or she has diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

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She added, “Despite the advances in medication for the management of diabetes, it has not changed the outcome of the patients who have diabetes, so life expectancy is reduced by 12 years in patients who have diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, while it is reduced by 6 years if its only diabetes”.

She continued, “Cardiovascular diseases can occur 10 to 15 years earlier in patients with diabetes compared with those without diabetes. Also, despite advances in care, most patients with type2 diabetes die from cardiovascular diseases, and despite improved prognosis with advancing the standard of care, patients with type2 diabetes remain at increased risk of cardiovascular mortality”.

While speaking on the therapeutic importance of Dapzin in reducing the cardiovascular death and hospitalization due to heart failure, Prof. Mbakwem, who is the current director of the Medical Education and Development Unit, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, commended the coming of the product to Nigeria, stressing that it will help in better management of cardiovascular conditions as it helps to enhance the cardiac energy pool by increasing cardiac energy production from glucose and fatty acid oxidation.

She also commended the cardioprotective qualities of the product, while pleading with the company to make the product even more affordable and accessible.

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Welcoming the guests earlier to the launch, Mr Hemant Sharma, senior vice-president, West Africa (Microlabs India) and head of operations, Micro Nova Pharmaceuticals Industry Limited, said the company, with presence in over 50 countries, is committed to improving the healthcare of Nigerians through qualitative and innovative products, adding that among other things, the company has 300 scientists in its employ and a robust range of 520 brands.
He added that DAPZIN is the only glucose-lowering agent with 3-in -1 additional benefit as it’s formulated to achieve quality outcomes in patient care, stressing that Micro Nova is committed to making it affordable and available throughout the country.

“Micro Nova started operation with 5 products which has now increased to over 125 products, operating in 5 divisions catering for the needs of different therapy areas. We also started with a staff of 9 persons, now we have over 195 employees, while our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Nigeria will be ready soon,” he said.

In his vote of thanks at the event, Mr Manjul Tripathi, the strategist business unit head, noted that the product is a pack of 30 tablets, one month supply, adding that it reduces cardiovascular death, prevents and reduces the progression of kidney eGFR decline in a large and diverse population of patients with type2 diabetes and renal impairment.

 

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