Anambra NASS member delivers speech as NAFDAC canvasses local manufacture of pharmaceutical products

Anambra NASS member delivers speech as NAFDAC canvasses local manufacture of pharmaceutical products

Anambra NASS member delivers speech as NAFDAC canvasses local manufacture of pharmaceutical products

By Chinwe Nwacha, Onitsha

A member of House of Representatives representing Onitsha North and South Federal constituency, Hon. (Engineer) Emeka Idu, delivered a lecture on Legislature and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, even as NAFDAC stressed the need for local manufacture of pharmaceutical ingredients to aid the production of quality medicine, at a workshop in Lagos organized by NAFDAC.

Hon. Idu while speaking at the  workshop Tuesday, during the opening ceremony of a four-day workshop titled, ‘Sustainable healthcare development, expressed optimism that Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, API, would be achievable locally 

Earlier, the Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, explained that over-dependence on food importation was a sign of insecurity to any country.

Hear her, "Over-dependence on food importation is a sign of insecurity to any country. Our aim is to ensure 70 per cent of the imported products is reduced to 30 per cent, so that we can manufacture 70 per cent.

“The COVID-19 pandemic taught us bitter lessons because there was hoarding of drugs and API products. It is important we manufacture a lot of what we need locally. If the active API has impurity or it’s bad, it will slowly kill the kidneys, and heart, thereby jeopardising the lives of our people.

“We have brought people here to sensitise us as a nation in terms of the property of API that could affect the product," he stated 

While analysing the benefits of local manufacturing of APIs, Adeyeye added that it would open room for African free trade, saying it would help to reduce the importation rate to 30 per cent.

According to her, “We want to be part of Africa’s free trade. i give a salute to the pharmaceutical industries because the pharmaceuticals import everything except water.

“It will ensure the quality of medicine we take, if there is a violation, we can go to the company directly, because whatever is made in Nigeria is traceable.

“This workshop will help regulators to know the nuances and characteristics of API," she further explained.

In her contribution, deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Omolara Oderinde, who represented the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Pate, said, “We have to align according to national drug policy. 70 per cent of pharmaceuticals are imported.

“It is through collaboration with government and provision of incentives and with the maturity level 3 NAFDAC achieved will help," Oderinde stated.

Hon. Idu, who is also chairman, House Committee on Food and Drug Administration, Mrs Regina Akume, who was represented by Mr Emeka Obiajulu, all called for partnership with NAFDAC by providing necessary information that would enable legislators to make laws that would pave way for local production.

"The relationship between the legislature and NAFDAC is making sure that in the end there’s development in the country. We have been using foreign materials to manufacture drugs and other item. But today we are trying to source local materials for manufacturing and this will save us cost.

"If all these are sourced locally it will be less expensive and it will get to the people at a low cost. The people should help themselves by depending less on foreign goods and use local materials," they stated.

Hon.Idu said he was opportuned to join other fellow leaders to discuss on APls, disclosing that the workshop is the first of a series of workshop to ensure that APIs are manufactured in Nigeria to help boost medicine security and enhance local manufacture of quality medicines which will have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy at large.

The workshop was aimed at creating awareness and build capacity for local manufacture of APIs and excipients to ensure that the guidance of ICH Q1 and Q7 are well understood for effective implementation. 

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