Managing Director of SKG Pharma Limited, an indigenous pharmaceutical companyDr. Okey Akpa, has said that it was not in the interest of national security for Nigeria to depend largely on imported drugs to meet the healthcare needs of its over 180 million people. He therefore called on the Federal Government and other tiers of government to adopt and implement the concept of Medicines Security which is a strategic document developed by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG -MAN) to ensure that the pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria is encouraged through policy and political will to produce adequate, quality and affordable drugs locally for the health needs of the Nigeria.
Dr. Akpa who spoke in Lagos while receiving the President of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) Engineer Mansur Ahmed, and his team in his office said the concept on Medicine Security is based on the National Drug Policy 2005 as amended which stipulates among other things that 70per cent of the drugs consumed in the country should be produced locally while 30per cent is exported.
The SKG pharma boss who is the chairman of West African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association and immediate past chairman of PMG-MAN said local production which now stands at 35per cent is not a reflection of the skills and capacity of local industries but will need government intervention in several areas to boost the capacity of local pharmaceutical companies.
While thanking the current administration for the Executive Order 003, which is a policy that makes it mandatory for Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) of government to patronise locally made goods including drugs, he called on the Federal Government to adopt a system of “smart protection” for the pharmaceutical industries which involves giving incentives in the areas where the indigenous drug manufacturers has acquired capacity and also prevent the dumping of sub-standard and fake foreign drugs in the country.