Nigeria still Imports 100% API, 70% Pharma Products- PWA

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Organisers of the Pharma West Africa (PWA) Exhibition 2024, have lamented the over reliance of the nation’s healthcare on importation, where 100 per cent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and 70 per cent pharmaceutical products are still being imported.

They maintained that the natural medicine sub-sector of the pharma industry is a goldmine deserving of catalytic investments and attention to unlock its potentials and enrich the actualisation of Universal Health Coverage ( UHC).

In a communique developed by WPA and signed by the Chairman of the exhibition, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, it was stated that quality medicines are central to the achievement of UHC; and without quality medicines, it will be pretty difficult to achieve the UHC mandate.

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With 160 local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies relying on 98 per cent manufacturing inputs importation, Yakasai opined that the sector will benefit from a stronger embrace of technology and innovation.

Highlighting a plethora of challenges contending with the industry, including inadequate coordination of the sub-sector, limited number of pharmacists and other skilled personnel, involvement of many unqualified persons in different facets of the pharma value chain, and weak sector monitoring and evaluation system, he posited that the industry can still flourish with adequate regulation.

The communique reads in part:

“ Despite the enormous challenges, Nigeria and Africa’s population, alongside the pharma industry’s growth projections, suggest there are immense opportunities within the sector.

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“ Effective regulation is necessary to ensure good practices and products within the pharma sector. Regulatory effectiveness has been hampered by litigations exploiting weaknesses in the regulatory laws, inadequate funding and human resources for the regulatory function, judiciary system weaknesses (eg long litigation time), poor societal values and poor compliance.

“Weaknesses in initial regulatory laws contributed in regulatory loopholes around PPMV licenses contributing to the “open drug markets” regulatory authorities are currently fighting to address.

“Effective supply chain management is a potent enabler for achieving universal health coverage.

“The quantity and quality of pharmacists and related professionals produced need to be improved. Training curricula should be improved to match the pharma industry human resource skills needs.

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“ The full implementation of initiatives like the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) should be aggressively pursued as it will benefit the pharma sector.

“ All “open medicine markets” should be dismantled, and medicines commodity logistics system challenges addressed”.

 

 

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