As part of efforts to produce well-grounded graduates and boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, has begun plans for imminent production of medicines and other pharmaceutical products.
Dean of the faculty, Professor Lateef Kasim, made this known to Pharmanews recently, saying the faculty is only waiting for the university management to release funds for the commencement of the project.
He noted that, over the past years, the faculty had been working on the development of excipients from natural sources for pharmaceutical formulations and isolation of bioactive compounds from natural products which have yielded positive results.
Explaining the rationale for the initiative, Kasim said: “The Nigerian pharmaceutical sector still has a lot to do in the subsector of manufacturing and the prerequisite research and development. Though so much ground has been covered to improve the delivery of pharmaceutical care at hospital and community level there is still room for improvement.”
He added: “Importation of drugs is indeed an area of concern. At the university level, we can only double up on our efforts to support the industry in requisite research, while the industry must be ready to invest in research and development.
“It never comes cheap. The gestation period can be long, which many companies are not willing to bear, however, we have a plan to start production of some pharmaceuticals in the faculty, we are waiting for the management to release funds for the commencement of the project. This is not our duty but to help the university in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)”.
The dean also hinted that the faculty will soon begin the PharmD programme, in line with the directives of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN).
He revealed that the proposal for the programme had been sent to the University Senate after which the faculty will secure the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Kasim, who is a professor of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, further disclosed that the faculty has since prioritised giving quality instruction and training to students in the faculty, saying the ultimate aim of this is to produce quality hands that will change the pharmaceutical space positively.
He added that testimonies from the industry have continued to confirm that the faculty is achieving the aim.
According to him, “We are training competent hands in the faculty who are poised for changing or advancing the Nigeria pharmaceutical sector, especially emphasising pharmaceutical care and preparing the students for new or expanded roles in the health system.
“Today, our products are highly sought-after by the employers of labour, not only for their academic knowledge but also for their moral values, reliability and honesty. This information is a feedback from different organisations”.
The dean also called on the Nigerian government to encourage pharmacists to remain in the country by creating a conducive environment to practise. He added that the government must also provide loans to pharmaceutical companies, as well as land and other amenities that will make the pharma companies to grow as it is being done in the agricultural sector.
Kasim also charged pharmacists in the country to work together as a team to address all issues confronting the pharmacy profession.