By Chioma Obinna
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has challenged Presidential candidates of the various political parties in the upcoming general elections to begin to look at how to fast-track new but substantial investments in healthcare.
Giving the charge at the 95th annual conference of the PSN held in Jos, Plateau State, the President of the society, Cyril Usifo, stated that the pharmaceutical sector offers the biggest prospects in that regard.
Usifo also encouraged the Federal government to stimulate a functional petrochemical industry that guarantees an industrial revolution beyond the pharma industry.
He said: “We must become primary producers of APIs, excipients, equivalents, packaging materials and all other finished products in a determined bid to attain medicine sufficiency and security.”
The PSN president urged Buhari to consolidate the gains of the Pharmacy Act 2022 as he critically evaluates the PSN proposals in that regard.
Speaking further, he assured that the Pharmacy Bill will curb inappropriate drug distribution channels which have made Nigeria famous for the fake drug syndrome.
Usifo while commending President, Muhammadu Buhari his landmark assent to the Pharmacy Bill, he said: “We convey our gratitude to the FG and most especially President Muhammadu Buhari for his landmark assent to the Pharmacy Bill. I find it imperative to call on the Presidency and other appropriate arms of government that the Pharmacy Bill has the propensities to restore normalcy to our indecorous drug distribution channels which have made Nigeria famous for the fake drug syndrome.
“This oddity is surmountable through proactive action of adequate funding of the PCN and other agencies that regulate the drug distribution channels, especially NAFDAC and NDLEA.
“We must maintain audit trails of drug distribution from manufacturers and importers to distributors, retailers, PMV dealers, and hospitals in the public and private sectors. Once we begin to monitor and control the value chain in drug distribution endeavours, then our journey to fulfilment commences.”
On the recent declarations by some concerned stakeholders to develop a holistic Academic Pharmacy resource template in Nigeria, he said the PSN is leading initiatives to establish the National Post-graduate College of Pharmacists.
“Our goal is to restructure the totality of the relationship management architecture between the post-graduate college and universities through appropriate regulatory platforms in the education sector for new benefits packages to accrue to all concerned in the training process of Pharmacists of both undergraduate and Postgraduate levels.”
“We must continue to appreciate recent gains that have manifested in the approval of the PharmD degree, Consultant cadre in Hospital Pharmacy practice as well as the recent payment of arrears of hazard allowances to Hospital Pharmacists in FHIs.”
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