HealthHighlight

FG partners pharmaceutical companies to pare drug prices

According to Adeyeye, the country's high drug costs will be a thing of the past as the agency teams up with pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of drugs.

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Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), has assured that the Federal Government is ready to lower the soaring cost of drugs and make them affordable for Nigerians.

Adeyeye gave the assurance during a virtual webinar lecture hosted by the Cable newspaper to commemorate its 10th anniversary, with the topic “Addressing Costs of Medicines.”

According to Adeyeye, the country’s high drug costs will be a thing of the past as the agency teams up with pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of drugs.

She referred to the revitalization of the local pharmaceutical industries as a panacea for the country’s high drug prices.

The DG stated that the revival of local pharmaceutical industries would make locally produced medicinal products more accessible and affordable than imported drugs.

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

The cost of imported drugs has soared, according to her, adding that the two multinational industries that left the region also contributed to the high cost of some medications.

Adeyeye also revealed that NAFDAC launched the “5 plus 5” regulatory scheme based on the results of a study, allowing companies to import drugs that the local pharmaceutical industry could produce to receive a final five-year extension.

During the five-year renewal period, the importer must shift to local manufacturing or partner with local suppliers, she added.

According to her, the “5 plus 5” initiative established over 30% of all new businesses in Nigeria and encouraged many importers to grow their businesses.

Adeyeye stated that the NAFDAC initiatives aim to reduce drug costs, emphasizing that local production cannot commence without bolstering the regulatory system.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, was also quoted as saying that President Bola Tinubu’s policy measures would soon be reflected in essential medical commodities.

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