From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Director General, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, has expressed optimism that his agency’s phytomedicines verification and validation protocol will strengthen medicine security in Nigeria.
He said the document which was developed by the National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC) on COVID-19 cure claims focused on efficient and sustainable utilization of local resources for self-reliance in pharmaceutical production and services.
Adigwe, in his public presentation of the phytomedicine verification and validation protocol document in Abuja, said, “as part of our research and development response, the Institute convened a National Scientific Advisory Committee to develop a standard phytomedicines verification and validation protocol.
“The committee was made up of 24 professionals amongst whom were 18 academic professors from different universities, research centres and international organizations across Nigeria.
“The protocol contain guidelines for the invitation of claimants, inclusion and exclusion criteria, ranking criteria, guidelines for interaction with claimants/traditional medicine Practitioners, informed consent form, validation report form, and protocol for processing and validation of products’ claims.
“While the document was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s contents are generic and can be applied for the verification of phytomedicines medicines in general,” he said.
Adigwe who reiterated that the protocol was the first of its kind, noted that it was developed by experienced professionals from different research and development background within a very short time in response to COVID-19.
In his remarks, the Chairman of NSAC on COVID-19 cure claims, Prof. Olobayo Kunle, sounded sure that Nigeria’s herbal medicine are useful and has large resource in terms of herbal medicine which NIPRD has a large link between capacity and utilization.
He reassured that NIPRD will provide the required input by using scientific methodology that has been standardized with international recognition.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorimnibe Mamora, applauded NIPRD management for their thoughtfulness and foresight in convening the National Scientific Advisory Committee which developed the valuable protocol.
He said: “We will ensure that the protocol is implemented in the coming year through adequate budgetary allocation and funding, most especially now that there seems to be an emergence of a second wave of the pandemic in many parts of the world.”
He called on health systems development partners to support NIPRD in implementing the protocol.