The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria has called on indigenous pharma manufacturers in the country to stop depending totally on countries like India for APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients), adding that such overdependence was capable of limiting the nation’s potentials in terms of developing its own pharmaceutical raw materials for the maximization of its local production capacity.
NAIP made this call came during it 2nd bi-monthly meeting held virtually via zoom on Monday, 24 August, 2020.
The event was graced by dignitaries from the pharmacy profession, including the PSN President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, Publisher of Pharmanews and Pharm. IG Anukwu, Chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria, who gave the welcome address as chief host of the event. Vice President of NAIP, Pharm. Chinedu Nwulia was also present.
Speakers at the meeting highlighted some of the implications of dependence on foreign countries for API while also enumerating the many benefits of developing local capacity for production by countries.
According to Mr. Thiagarajan Venket, an experienced Indian pharma practitioner who understands the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry, “Nigeria can emulate India which is already making frantic efforts to reduce depending on China for API. In spite of this dependence, India is the 3rd largest producer of finished drugs in the world”. Speaking further, he said, “Every one of three drugs consumed in the US is produced in India while 25% of drugs consumed in the UK are also produced in India. He also added that India has the capacities to produce COVID-19 treatments, including Remdesivir”.
Responding, Dr. Lolu Ojo added that our local manufacturers must emulate the Indian example by also reducing our dependence on India for APIs. He however decried the unstable foreign exchange policy in Nigeria as one of the obstacles militating against the independence of the Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturing industry from foreign influence.
The president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mazi Ohuabunwa who also spoke during the meeting corroborated Dr. Lolu Ojo’s viewpoint as he urged government to prioritize the development of the Nigerian pharma industry to enable it follow in the footsteps of India. He added that Nigerian manufacturers should pursue value creation and stop paying lip service to matters of national importance. He also lauded the Central Bank for its decision to provide funding of up to 100 billion naira in form of loan for research and development of the pharma industry in the country.
The Chairman, Board of Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Professor Mbang Femi-Oyewo concluded by calling on NAIP to set a vision for itself to enable it work towards the actualization of the coveted independence in pharma manufacturing in the country.
The new logo of the association was also unveiled at the event.