Uncategorized Stakeholders Seek For Drug Security, National Self Sufficiency By admin Posted on June 29, 2016 4 min read 0 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Operators in the health sector have gathered in Abuja to discuss how to access quality healthcare. They said access to quality healthcare is a major challenge in the country. The forum organised by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), was attended by lawmakers, who were represented by the chairmen of some key committees of the Senate, policymakers from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as other players in health policy, research, industry and manufacturing. The forum presented an opportunity for lawmakers and civil servants to exchange ideas with manufacturers to improve access to drugs. Senate Committee on Industry Chairman Senator Sam Egwu said the theme of the forum, “Medicines’ security and national self-sufficiency: maximising medicines’ production capacity in Nigeria” was apt. PMGMAN Chairman Mr Okey Akpa berated the lack of an appropriate policy to ensure national security on health. According to him, the country remains at risk of drug insecurity. He referred to lessons from the Ebola crisis which made it obligatory for the country to develop strategies to ensure it becomes self-sufficient in medicines. Besides, he said there was the need to develop a comprehensive and far-reaching medicines’ security policy which would ensure a robust engagement with medicine security issues. He said to intimate the legislature and various MDAs on barriers and limitations encountered in pharmaceutical manufacturing. He called on the legislature and other key stakeholders to facilitate enabling environments for maximising manufacturing capacity for medicines in Nigeria. The Senate Committee chairmen congratulated the PMG-MAN members for getting the World Health Organisation Good Manufacturing practice (GMP) certification, adding that their achievement placed Nigeria among the countries whose local drug industries manufacture at the highest international standards. This step, he said, had been identified as a major precursor for the attainment of self–sufficiency, reduction of medical tourism and commencement of substantial exportation of pharmaceutical products to other countries. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health praised the Group for holding the forte in contributing to the nation’s access to quality medicines. This was despite the unfavourable local and international environment that had impacted businesses in the industry. On self-sufficiency, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa agreed that the issue was vital. He said ignoring self-sufficiency as regards medicines will be perilous to the country, adding that the issue was beyond healthcare as it impinged on national security.