Supply Chain: Experts seek government commitment toward securing Nigeria’s pharma industry

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With an inefficient and weak supply chain system, pharmaceutical experts have urged the government at all levels to show strong commitment and political will towards securing Nigeria’s pharma industry as well as accelerate all the initiatives designed to close the gaps that COVID-19 exposed in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chains, PSCs.

The experts further said given the inherent weaknesses the country has on account of significant deficits in infrastructure and resources, there was also the need for improved intra-sector (private – private) and inter-sector (public-private) collaboration more than ever.

In his submission at the maiden edition of the Pharmaceutical Wholesalers & Distributors Association of Nigeria’s, PWDAN, conference and exhibition in Lagos entitled: “Pharmaceutical Supply Chains In Nigeria: Quo Vadis”, Dr Solomon Aigbavboa insisted that functional healthcare in the country will still be a mirage as long as the PSCs are systemically weak, vulnerable and not resilient.

Aigbavboa, who is also the Managing Director/Chief Research Officer Sonedis Nigeria Ltd added that the implementation and enforcement of the various drug laws, policies and guidelines were deficient.

He stated that over the years, PSC in the country has faced many challenges, which have impacted negatively on the performance of the chains.

Listing some of the challenges include; stock-outs and product shortages; fake and counterfeit products; product expiration, corruption, poor infrastructure, weak regulatory systems and disruptions, Aigbavboa lamented that ultimately, the overall health system fails in its ability to adequately cater for the healthcare essentials of the population. To varying degrees, these challenges negatively affect the effectiveness and efficiencies of the countries’ pharmaceutical supply chains and pose a big risk to medicine security, among other factors.

He said the country must show political will for local manufacturing starting with growing local pharma manufacturing.

“Whilst the investment and the driving of industry remain private sector-led and based, our governments have 3 key roles to play through right policies, and incentives. The main force that drove the growth of local industries in countries that dominate the pharma space today is political will and commitment.

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