The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos State Chapter, has called on the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to expedite the implementation of the consultant cadre scheme for pharmacists in the state’s employ.
The Society maintains that the delayed implementation of the scheme which was approved by the Executive Council of the state in 2018, and later by the Federal Government, negates global best practices and is inimical to the progress of the state.
PSN-Lagos Chairman, Pharm. Gbolagade Iyiola, gave the charge at the recent Annual Scientific Week of the association, while also urging the governor to address the need for autonomy of pharmacy schools in the state.
Iyiola, who strongly conveyed the views of pharmacists in the state, urged concerned stakeholders to prevail on the state governor to do the needful on the matters before him.
Speaking on the theme of the program, “Innovative Approach Towards Ensuring Medicine Security: The Place of Local Production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Nigeria”, the keynote speaker, Pharm. Kunle Oyelana, bemoaned the present condition of the country’s pharma industry, with 70 percent importation dependence, 30 percent local manufacturing, poor healthcare coverage, 30 percent access to medicines, and insignificant contribution to the GDP, among others.
Oyelana, who is also the managing director, of GSK, posited that to achieve local production of APIs in the country, stakeholders must commence from the foundation, which he said is the reconstitution of pharmacy schools’ curriculum. He charged the Committee of Deans to rework the curriculum in tandem with the latest trends in the industry.
The keynote speaker averred that once this is done, it will enhance research and development activities, which will invariably facilitate the development of local raw pharmaceutical materials.
Citing the example of China, which made more profits from APIs, than Nigeria made from crude oil, Oyelana expressed optimism in the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector attaining such heights, provided that the required incentives for the industry are readily available.
He highlighted the prerequisites for APIs manufacturing in the country to include “a viable petrochemical industry, economies of scale, infrastructure and human capital.”
In his address at the event, PSN President, Prof. Cyril Usifoh, appreciated the PSN-Lagos, describing it as the leading PSN chapter in the country.
He further described the theme of the scientific week as very apt, saying it was in tandem with the theme of the forthcoming PSN national conference, “Medicine Security in an Unstable Economy”. He called on all pharmacists to be at the conference, which is scheduled to hold in Jos, Plateau State.
Usifoh, who was represented by Pharm. Gafar Madehin, PSN national treasurer, also expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for signing the Pharmacy Bill into law, stating that the combination of the new Act and a new registrar for the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria portends a bright future for pharmacists in the country.
The PSN-Lagos scientific week also saw the establishment of the Past Chairmen Forum for the Society. Members of the Forum, with Pharm. Jimi Agbaje as the leader was duly recognized and saddled with the responsibility of being a think tank of the association.
Other dignitaries in attendance at the event were Registrar, PCN, Pharm. Babashehu Ahmed; GMD, Emzor Group, Dr (Mrs) Stella Okoli, represented by Pharm. (Mrs) Uzoma Ezeoke; Managing Director, May & Baker, Pharm. Patrick Ajah; Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; and past chairmen of PSN-Lagos.