For Nigeria to attain medicine security as well as a consistent flow of affordable drugs, there has to be a functional pharmaceutical supply chain and holistic sanitisation of the wholesale and distribution system of pharmaceutical products. This was the submission experts who gathered at the inauguration ceremony of the Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (PWDAN), held at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.
The keynote speaker, Pharm. (Mrs) Clare Omatseye, managing director, JNC International, and former president of Healthcare Federation of Nigeria called for a thriving pharmaceutical supply chain to ensure consistent flow of affordable medicines in Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme “Supply Chain in Contemporary Health Services– The Disruption”, Omatseye, a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN) said that drugs distribution process in the country was chaotic, porous and under serious threat in terms of drug security.
“We should be able to streamline our drugs distribution process in the country and make sure people have access to quality medicines, vaccines and other pharmaceuticals consumables. The objective of what we are talking about today is access to quality healthcare that is affordable, efficacious and effective.
“So, the disruption that is required to take us to the next level is this new association that has come to sanitise our pharmaceuticals supply chain in the country.”
Omatseye said the best way to achieve a consistent flow of affordable drugs in the country was through local production, adding that the only way we can overcome the challenges of chaotic drug distribution is to be self-sufficient through local production.
The JNC International boss, however, commended PWDAN for their initiative to restore sanity to the country’s supply chain, while urging them to be goal-oriented and be a solid advocate for pharmacists and patients to promote accessible and affordable healthcare for Nigerians.
While speaking, the Director General, NDLEA, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (Rtd), who was the chairman of the occasion urged PWDAN to work assiduously to achieve the association’s objectives.
Marwa, who was represented by the former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. Ahmed Yakassai said he was happy with the inauguration of PWDAN, saying the intention is to restore sanity and integrity to the pharmaceutical supply chain in the country.
According to him, the problem of drug distribution in Nigeria is long overdue, and with the birth of PWDAN, now is the time to put an end to the problem. “I expect PWDAN members to remain committed to their objective and goals in everything they do, and they must work with other bodies to achieve their aim,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Moji Adeyeye, as well as the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. NAE Mohammed urged PWDAN to be goal-oriented and to work in the interest of healthcare and patients, to promote accessible and affordable healthcare for Nigerians.
The PCN boss who was represented by Pharm. Ukamaka Okafor, a director in the Council said that the theme of the programme was apt and very timely noting that medicines are an integral part of the healthcare system and that an effective and efficient supply chain is critical if affordable and efficient drugs and other healthcare equipment will reach the people who need them.
In his speech, the President, PSN, Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, who was represented by the Deputy President, Pharm. (Mrs) Ejiro Foyibo, said PSN was happy that the professionals are now ready to take the driving seat and take over what rightfully belong to them from the charlatans.
Speaking earlier, the chairman, PWDAN, Pharm. Ernest Okafor noted that the inauguration of the association is set to bring a new narrative and to put into action a much-desired pathway in the healthcare system of our nation, saying the challenges in the pharmaceutical supply chain system have been a recurring debate for many years.
Corroborating the chairman, the Vice Chairman, Pharm. Ogeneochuko Omaruaye said the association was borne out of the desire of the founders to contribute answers to the unending problems in the pharmaceutical distribution system in the country.
While commending the birth of PWDAN, the national chairman, ACPN, Dr Samuel Adekola, expressed happiness for another milestone in his tenure, while encouraging the leadership of PWDAN to continue to close ranks and collaborate with ACPN to achieve its lofty objectives.