25 February 2013

Nigeria: 70 Percent of Drugs Consumed in West Africa Produced in Nigeria

Studies have shown that Nigeria is responsible for producing about 70 percent of medicines consumed within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states, underlining the huge sub-regional market of an estimated 600 million people, according to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group, Manufacturers' Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) report of January 2013.

While trade incentives introduced within the West African sub-region are aiding movement of pharmaceutical products, stakeholders such as PMG-MAN in the health sector believe that local production of drugs will reduce influx of fake drugs in the Nigerian market even as the capacity building efforts to produce over-the-counter (OTC) drugs will reduce the country's dependency on imported drugs.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP exclusively in Lagos Sir Idowu Obasa, chairman, Bradford Pharmaceuticals Limited, who collaborates PMG-MAN views said with the incidence of fake and counterfeit medicines coming mainly from Asia, local drug production would contribute to availability of safe and effective medicines for healthcare, conservation of foreign exchange and utilisation of locally produced raw materials and services.

Obasa whose firm Bradford produces a new brand of pain relieving syrup Bradmol for children stressed the need for Nigerians to invest in pharmaceutical manufacturing as part of efforts to contribute to local industrialisation which would in turn lead to creation of jobs for a pool of unemployed youths.

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