PSN Applauds Presidential Initiative to Boost Local Pharma Production

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Professor Cyril Usifoh

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has expressed profound appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Coordinating Minister of Health & Social Welfare sequel to the signing of a significant Executive Order, aimed at bolstering the local production of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices.

In a press release sent to Pharmanewsonline, PSN President, Pharm. (Prof.) Cyril Odianose Usifoh, hailed the move as a critical step towards revitalising Nigeria's healthcare sector. The Executive Order introduces zero tariffs, excise duties, and VAT on specified machinery, equipment, and raw materials. This initiative is expected to reduce production costs and enhance the competitiveness of local manufacturers.

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Prof. Usifoh emphasised the importance of the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative (NHSRII), noting that the order is not merely another government initiative but a genuine commitment to transforming the health sector. He stated that the inclusion of active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients, and essential raw materials in the order is pivotal for the production of crucial products such as drugs, long-lasting insecticidal bed nets, and rapid diagnostic kits.

He said the PSN is optimistic about the prospects of the order and encourages the Health Ministry to implement complementary measures to curb the rising prices of drugs in Nigeria. Usifoh called for a re-evaluation of tariffs and regulatory procedures within the pharmaceutical value chain to support these efforts. He also stressed the need for comprehensive reforms in regulatory agencies overseeing drug use and control, considering the significant lead time required to establish new manufacturing plants.

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Furthermore, the PSN President underscored the necessity for improved installed capacity and capacity utilisation in the pharma industry to achieve the target of 70 per cent local manufacturing of essential drugs. He acknowledged the public's expectation for a reduction in drug prices following the executive order and urged the Health Ministry to facilitate access to subsidies that could allow for a review of existing tariffs.

Prof. Usifoh reaffirmed the PSN's commitment to supporting the implementation and success of the new order. He pledged the society's dedication to working towards a landmark in intensive care management with holistic local content, ensuring the realisation of the government's vision for a robust healthcare sector.

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