The management of Bond Chemical Industries Limited was excited on Friday to receive foreign researchers from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, United States, to discuss ways of partnering on some of their brands, especially on Oxyurea, her brand of hydroxyurea for the management of Sickle Cell disease (SCD) in Nigeria.
The working visit, which was in two part, saw the researchers through a meeting at the Bond Chemical Industries corporate head office, Mushin, Lagos, after which they had a stopover at the National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Isolo, Lagos, for a strategic meeting with some NAFDAC senior officials.
Leading the team from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Professor of Paediatrics and Medicine, Michael R. Debaun, expressed their delight to visit the management team of Bond Chemical Industries Limited in Nigeria, for the unique position they occupy as the manufacturer of the only NAFDAC approved hydroxyurea brand in Nigeria.
Debaun, who is also the founder and director, Vanderbilt-Meharry Centre of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease, Department of Paediatrics, stated that out of about 300,000 children born with the SCD every year, 50 percent are born in Nigeria without any viable approach to prevent the complication of SCD.
He noted that with Bond Chemical Industries as the manufacturer of the only NAFDAC approved hydroxyurea brand and other pharmaceutical products of high quality in Nigeria, they are critical to the strategy the Vanderbilt University team wants to employ to care for children and adults with the disease. “Oxyurea is a lifesaving medicine in the management of SCD worldwide”.
The United States Professor of Paediatrics, also disclosed to Pharmanewsonline in a chat during the visit that they have also discovered a gap between the period a patient is taken to India for transplant and when he returns to Nigeria.
“Many times when children are taken to India for SCD treatment and most times, children that receive transplant are often undertreated for immuno-suppressive agent. Instead of receiving immunosuppression for one year, they may actually receive it for six months, which is not best for them. We think it is appropriate for Nigerians to produce their own immunosuppressant, and Bond Chemical Industries is in the best position to do this assignment”, he stated.
For Pharm. C.O Adeboye, plant manager, Bond Chemical Industries, the visit of the international scientists was very apt in such a time like this, when millions of Nigerians are not aware of the great effort put together by the pharmaceutical company in reducing the burden of SCD.
He also narrated some of the challenges faced in the management of SCD in Nigeria, where there are several wrong treatments for SCD, which threaten the lives of patients. “A lot of what is done now is that patients only visit the hospital for prescription when they have crisis, and a lot of obsolete treatment methods are applied such as the use of folic acid with paludrine or other herbal products that we know have no efficacy”.
Adeboye therefore urged all caregivers to adopt Oxyurea in the management of SCD, because it is safe in children and adults.