Sat, 13 Apr 2024

 

FG to sign executive order to curb rising drug prices
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Wed, 28 Feb 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate on Wednesday, said the Federal Government will soon issue an executive order to curb escalating drug prices in the country.

Prof Pate explained that the executive order is a short-term goal in reducing drug prices.

He added that the Federal Government’s mid to long-term goals in reducing drug prices involve the domestication of imported drugs within the next three years in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Prof Pate, who disclosed this at the third edition of the ministerial press briefing series initiated by the Ministry of Information in Abuja, noted that pharmaceutical-grade warehouses at the federal level will be commissioned in April 2024.

The briefing series was initiated to provide a platform for public officials to reel out their achievements and apprise Nigerians of the challenges of governance.

Experts in the pharmaceutical industry have said depreciating currency, hoarding, importation of drugs and raw valued currency, and high tariffs on pharmaceutical imports are driving up the costs of drugs in the country.

Findings by our correspondent showed that some medications have skyrocketed as much as 200 per cent or 300 per cent.

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa had exclusively told our correspondent last week that President Bola Tinubu would soon sign an executive order to provide immediate succour to Nigerians about the high cost of pharmaceuticals.

Dr Alausa said the high cost of pharmaceuticals in the country is due to inadequate planning in the past.

Speaking on Wednesday, Pate said, “The rising cost of pharmaceuticals is a pressing concern, and we are taking decisive action to address this issue. An executive order will soon be issued to curb escalating drug prices in the short term, while our mid to long-term goal involves the domestication of imported drugs within the next three years, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade.

“In a strategic move to fortify the pharmaceutical infrastructure across the nation, the Federal Government initiated the construction of pharmaceutical-grade warehouses in 21 states in collaboration with Drug Management Agencies.

“Two additional warehouses at the federal level are also underway, complemented by the installation of the Warehousing Management Information System– M Supply, in these 21 pharma-grade warehouses. This visionary project commenced in October 2023, is slated for completion in March 2024, with a scheduled commissioning in April 2024.”

He stated that the implementation of WMIS is expected to significantly enhance accountability and transparency, ensuring the potency of public health medicines and other health commodities.

“This infrastructure development aligns with our commitment to improving health outcomes for citizens nationwide.

“Furthermore, the government has taken strides in advancing healthcare data management. Essential medicines and narcotics utilisation across the three levels of healthcare have been successfully onboarded onto the National Health Logistics Management Information System platform.

“This decisive step not only strengthens our international image by enhancing medicines reporting but also establishes a robust framework for monitoring and optimising the supply chain. In addition, the Federal Government has led the development of the maiden National Policy on Cosmetics Safety in Nigeria, a crucial policy that will guide the production and safe use of cosmetics in the country.

“Moreover, the development of two Unified Food Safety Training Manuals, focusing on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point principles, as well as the requirements for Good Hygiene and Manufacturing Practices along the food supply chain, underscores our commitment to promoting food safety and hygiene practices across the nation.”

He added that the government’s efforts to promote medical industrialisation are gaining momentum.

“Through strategic partnerships and funding initiatives, we are unlocking the full potential of our healthcare sector. I am pleased to announce that the Ministry has secured a $1bn pledge from Afriexim bank, alongside commitments from foreign partners, to support our endeavors in this regard,” he said.

 

 

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