In their quest for more information about the personality and achievements of the Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye, members of the Editorial Team of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) Lagos State Chapter, recently paid a courtesy visit to the agency’s office at Oshodi, Lagos.
The Lagos AHAPN Editorial Team members, led by Pharm. Kingsley Ekwunife, editor, and Pharm. Oyinlade Kehinde; with other members in persons of Pharm. Tope Akinboro; Pharm Zainab Alabi; and Pharm. Olanike Shittu, were present at the meeting to discuss with the NAFDAC DG.
Some of the questions asked by the team were centred on DG’s experience in office, challenges encountered so far, NAFDAC’s position on drug insecurity in the country, funding of research in herbal medicine, improvement of local drug manufacturing in the country, compliance level of pharmaceutical companies in the post codeine era, drug abuse, and others.
Responding to these questions, Adeyeye narrated her journey since assumption of office, till date, how she inherited a huge debt from the previous administration, which she has been able to clear with the support of her staff members.
Her words: “It was fulfilling and challenging, as I have seen NAFDAC being changed from an agency that was in debt and with poor management of funds and people to an organization that is now fiscally prudent.
“The management is now focused on ensuring that the staff are motivated and disciplined, with a customer-focused and agency-minded culture”.
Speaking on her achievements, she explained that as soon as she took over the position in 2017, she inherited a debt of 3.1 billion naira, and now it has all been paid in full.
The NAFDAC DG stated how she changed the administration to a more transparent, accountable and efficient system, and resultant development of a more disciplined and motivating workforce which would have seem almost impossible.
She listed some of the challenges of the agency to include: “Staff strength inadequacy, shortage of operational vehicles, irregular site inspection of foreign manufacturers, working progress in procurement, finance and accounting system”. She however noted that although the challenges are many, but there are measures, such as continuous quality monitoring and improvement to tackle them all.
On the current Coronavirus epidemic, Adeyeye said the agency’s position on drug insecurity gives boost to the need for the country to look inward and come up with the blueprint on increased local production of the majority of our essential medicines.
“We are working assiduously to overturn the current ratio of 70 to 30 percent of imported drugs to local products respectively.
“Global collaboration with other nationals and world health regulatory bodies like WHO to address any drug security issue that may arise, is a welcome development. Also encouragement of clinical trials of local new drug entities as drug candidates for the treatment of Coronavirus, is ongoing”, she quipped.
Prof. Adeyeye further spoke on the Pharmacy Bill, describing it as a welcome development which stands to improve Pharmacy education, training and practice in Nigeria, noting that the presidential assent to the bill will give the profession of Pharmacy and indeed the healthcare at large, the much needed progress.
She also mentioned the activities of NAFDAC to curb drug abuse, saying that NAFDAC is collaborating with internal health based organisations and regulatory bodies, such as PCN, NDLEA, CPC, and other stakeholders like PMGMAN, APIN, NIROPHARM, AHAPN in order to sanitize the drug distribution network.
The NAFDAC boss stated that raising the agency’s status to a leading role in Africa and globally is one thing she would love to be remembered for, and also how she has led NAFDAC to at least level 3 ranking in the world that enabled manufacturing of vaccines possible in Nigeria.
Pharm. Ekwunife, appreciated all members of the team for taking time out of their tight schedule to render service to the association.