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Stakeholders in pharmaceutical industry clamour for adoption of digital technologies, seek government intervention
 
From: CEOAFRICA REPORTER: Boluwatife Oparinde
Tue, 11 Jun 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

Pharmacists and pharmaceutical experts across board have stressed the importance of adopting digital technologies in the industry to the end of ensuring universal healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

In separate interviews with CEOAFRICA at the opening ceremony of the 27th conference of the Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP) held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The keynote speaker at the conference, Prof. Oludele Adelanwa Itiola of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, told CEOAFRICA that there is need to embrace digital transformation “so that we can have more streamlined and effective processes in the industry.” He also added that in adopting these technologies, there is need for investment, resilience, and sacrifice.

Chairman, BOT/Director, Business School Netherlands, Pharm. (Prof) Lere Baale, FPSN, opined that the pharmaceutical industry cannot survive without the application of digital technologies to ensuring the ultimate delivery of universal health coverage for every Nigerian.

“We know that the pharma industry is responsible for everything on the value chain till it gets to the consumer in good form. At every stage of the value chain, there is need to apply new technologies. Technology can be applied to manufacturing, distribution and supply chain management. By the time you look back in the next few years, it might interest you that we are fully enveloped with a great deal of penetrable technology,” he said.

According to a former Secretary of PSN and former NAIP Chairman, Prince Pharm Gbenga Falabi, “talking about pharmaceuticals, especially in terms of logistics, you cannot do without leveraging on technology. We need to be able to reduce waste, be able to quantify how much of work product required, prevention of obsolete and expiring product.”

On role of government, Prof. Itiola said that the government comes in the areas of regulations as policies are made by them, stating that the need for partnership with company CEOs to ensure that regulations made will not become roadblocks.

Managing Director, Nigerian Army Drug Manufacturing Company (NADMACO), Brigadier General Stella Nkiru Ibeh, said that the 2024 NAIP conference will come up with a communique that will be sent to government authorities for proper actions. She added that government support will go a long way to impact the industry.

According to her, “pharmacists have evolved and still evolving in terms of clinical practice. The industry today is not that of yesterday. When it comes to patient care, we are now taking the lead, we are at the forefront of patient care.”

The Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos State, Pharm. Babayemi Oyekunle, also called on the government to hearken to the potentials of Nigerian pharmacists, saying that they must lash on the skills of pharmacists in Nigeria.

Stating that the need for government to provide enablement and encouragement, he said, “I am praying that the government will look to the side of pharmacists and collaborate with us so that we can have medicine security that Nigerian deserves such that in the case of any other epidemic, we will be certain of self-sufficiency.”

He stressed that no nation could achieve universal health coverage when they are not producing 70-90% of their drugs which according to him, is why it is high time the government listened to NAIP and pharmacists in general so that everything will be in place for the industry to start local production.

 

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