Nigerian Govt restates commitment to curtail rising cost of drugs

The Federal Government has pledged to bring down the soaring cost of medications to make it affordable to Nigerians.

The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojidola Adeyeye, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

According to the statement, Adeyeye gave the assurance at a webinar lecture organised by The Cable Newspaper, to celebrate its 10th anniversary with the theme: “Addressing Costs of Medicines’’.

She said the current high cost of medicines in the country will become a thing of the past as the Agency is working in partnership with pharmaceutical industries to bring down the cost of drugs.

She identified rejuvenation of the local pharmaceutical industries as a panacea for high cost of medicines in the country.

The DG said that locally manufactured medicinal products would be more accessible and affordable compared to the imported drugs if local pharmaceutical industries are rejuvenated.

According to her, the devaluation of the Naira accounted largely for the high cost of production locally as the high exchange rate made procurement of raw materials and equipment imported for production extremely high.

She said that due to difficulty associated with procurement of dollar, the cost of imported drugs has hit the roof, adding that the two multinational industries that left the country also accounted for the high cost of some medicals.

Adeyeye also disclosed that NAFDAC under her leadership started the “5 plus 5” regulatory scheme which entails companies importing drugs that could be produced by the local pharmaceutical industry to get a last five-year renewal.

She said that during the five-year renewal period, the importer must migrate to local manufacturing or partner with local manufacturers, adding that this was an outcome of a study.

She said that over 30 per cent of new companies in Nigeria sprung up as a result of the “5 plus 5” initiative, adding that it had encouraged many importers to build their companies.

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