Scientists under the aegis of the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) have called on governments at all levels to commensurately reward processes that convert knowledge to solutions.
The researchers stated that such gesture will spur them to do more on all fronts for national development.
They also pointed out the need for clinical trials conducted in Nigeria to be conceived and designed with greater input from end users and patients.
They said: “Clinical trials conducted in Nigeria should have unbiased methods, with the report of accurate and complete results based on the study protocol and in line with national and international standards”.
In an 18-point communiqué released after NAPA’s recently concluded 18th National Scientific Conference, held at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the academicians said special attention must be given to knowledge-driven solutions geared towards national development.
“There should be incentives for the processes that convert knowledge to solution. Researchers should be adequately rewarded, as this would spur them to do more”, the communique said.
The document also stressed the need for a research transitional desk that regularly coordinates the academia, the industry, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers.
It said: “The aim is to uncover needs, set strategic goals, provide resources and turn research findings to commercially viable goods and services.
“Academia-industry linkages should be promoted such that researchers would be encouraged to have practice-level experience in the industry. This will deepen insights, perspectives, understanding and shift emphasis from more knowledge to profitable knowledge.”
Analysing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pharmaceutical industry, the scholars emphasised the need to discover safe and effective drugs for the treatment of the viral infection.
They said it is expedient for randomised clinical trials (RCTs) to be conducted on repurposed drugs in order to test their relevance for the prophylaxis or management of the disease, adding that the findings will eliminate the numerous controversies currently surrounding their use.
The researchers maintained that pharmacists have been trained to identify research gaps and are available for actions with multidisciplinary teams.
“Research and Development (R&D) is one of the most important sectors of the pharmaceutical industry. The collaboration between the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) and the Nigeria Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP) is laudable and should be sustained.
“Government funding of research laboratories is key. The government and proprietors of Pharmacy Schools should build and provide support for pilot plants in laboratories of the different schools of Pharmacy in Nigeria for the pilot manufacture of drugs,” they submitted.
The NAPA members noted how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerability in the Nigerian’s educational system’s preparedness for distance learning and ability to respond within short notice.
The consequently recommended use of distance learning tools for universities, including recorded lectures and online platforms.
“The government and financial institutions should fund information, communication and technology (ICT) infrastructure in Nigerian universities for efficient teaching and learning,” they proffered.