NAFDAC, Yakasai Hail Tinubu’s Executive Order to Revitalise Healthcare

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Ex-President, PSN, Pharm, Ahmed Yakasai and NAFDAC DG, Prof. (Mrs) Mojisola Adeyeye

The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Prof. Moji Adeyeye and a former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. Ahmed I. Yakasai, have lauded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Executive Order to transform Nigeria’s healthcare sector, by granting special waivers on pharmaceutical Inputs: APIs, excipients, and other Eessential raw materials to boost local pharmaceutical production.

Prof. Adeyeye in a statement made available to Pharmanewsonline on Saturday, commended this giant stride of the administration of the cerebral Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, and Coordinating Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa, whose sensitive and visionary leadership have prioritised the interest of Nigerians over their personal agenda, towards improving national health outcomes.

By addressing core challenges and providing a clear path for improvement, she said the President’ EO sets the stage for a sustainable and high-quality healthcare system for all Nigerians.

Pharm. Yakasai, who is also chairman of Pharma West Africa Conference and Leaders Club, expressed his appreciation to President Tinubu and the ministers for the promise kept to Nigerians, while suggesting strategic measures for the effective implementation of the EO for Nigerians’ benefits. He averred that crashing the prices of medicines and strengthening the pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria are complex tasks that involve various economic, regulatory, healthcare system reforms and implementation is key to the success of the EO.

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The Presidential EO includes the following provisions:
Zero Tariffs and Excise Duties: Exempting specified pharmaceutical machinery, equipment, goods, and accessories from tariffs and excise duties to reduce production costs and make healthcare products more affordable.

Special Waivers on Pharmaceutical Inputs: APIs, excipients, and other essential raw materials, including those for Long-lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) and Rapid Diagnostic Kits, will benefit from zero tariffs, excise duties, and VAT, lowering the price of essential medicines and medical supplies.

Market Shaping: Establishing framework contracts and volume guarantees to stabilize the local manufacturing market.

Regulatory Harmonization and Expedited Approvals: Developing a Harmonized Implementation Framework to guide regulatory agencies in streamlining approval processes.

Implementation and Compliance: Agencies like the Nigeria Customs Service, NAFDAC, SON, and FIRS are mandated to ensure swift implementation. The waivers and exemptions are valid for two years from the effective date.

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According to the NAFDAC boss, the EO is vital for the success of the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative (NHSRII) in reducing the high cost of medicines, because by lowering tariffs and providing special waivers, the EO aims to reduce the prohibitive costs of medicines and other pharmaceutical products, making healthcare more affordable for Nigerians.

She also explained that the EO will boosting local pharma industry, by encouraging local manufacturing to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and reduce dependence on imports, ensuring a reliable supply of essential healthcare products.

Adeyeye further stated that the EO will enhance quality and innovation, as well as strengthen health systems, by addressing underinvestment and regulatory challenges, thereby improving service delivery and health outcomes.

The erstwhile PSN President on his part, propounded nine guidelines for the effective implementation of the EO which are centred on local manufacturing; investment in infrastructure; research and development (R&D) Incentives: regulatory teforms; public-private partnerships (PPP): education and training; health insurance coverage; intellectual property management; and market competition.

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He opined that local manufacturing can be incentivized through tax breaks, subsidies, and streamlined regulatory processes to reduce production costs. Improve infrastructure, he said, including pharmaceutical parks for pharmaceutical manufacturing, such as reliable electricity supply, transportation networks, and access to clean water, can reduce production costs and improve efficiency.

“Provide incentives for pharmaceutical companies to invest in R&D within Nigeria. This can lead to the development of new, cost-effective medicines and technologies that can lower overall healthcare costs. On regulatory reforms, streamline and strengthened regulatory processes can ensure safety and efficacy of medicines while reducing bureaucratic delays that can increase costs for pharmaceutical companies.

“Public-Private Partnerships will foster collaborations between the government, private sector, and international organisations to improve access to medicines and reduce costs through joint initiatives and pooled procurement, while investment in education and training programmes for healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical personnel will enhance skills and knowledge in pharmaceutical manufacturing and management”, he said.

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