How to sanitize drug distribution

Categories : News

At a conference organized by the pharmaceutical wholesalers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (PWDAN), stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector have suggested strategies for achieving a seamless distribution of pharmaceutical products.

It was its maiden yearly conference – and stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector believed it lived up to its billings.

One year after its inauguration, the Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Distribution Association of Nigeria (PWDAN), a group which fosters and promotes best practices in the pharmaceutical supply chain, gathered the crème de la crème in the pharmaceutical industry to brainstorm on the best ways to sanitise the moribund drug distribution environment. The conference, with the theme, “Pharmaceutical supply chain in Nigeria – Quo Vadis,” aimed at bringing sanity to the drug supply chain.

For years, stakeholders in the health sector have advocated for a holistic sanitisation of the pharmaceutical supply chain as well as proper regulation to enthrone a consistent flow of safe and affordable medicines across the country. This position, experts have often insisted, is anchored on the belief that the growth of the wholesale distribution sector of the pharmaceutical supply chain in Nigeria is perpetually hampered by poor infrastructure, lopsided regulations, and lack of political will on the part of the government as well as unprofessional conducts on the part of the practitioners. In other words, an unending chaotic drug distribution system has promoted the circulation of fake and adulterated drugs, leading to treatment failures and other aberrations.

Applauding the birth of PWDAN and expressing their desires to work with the group to enable the country to have a more robust system that is devoid of ugly practices plaguing the pharmaceutical supply chain in the country, dignitaries from various subsectors of the industry that attended the conference said the time has come for Nigeria to evolve a new order where sanity rules.

In his keynote address, Dr Solomon Aigbavboa, a renowned expert in global drug distribution chain, asked  stakeholders to commence action to re-shape the supply chain system in Nigeria.

He asked his audience: “Where are we going with our pharma supply chains in Nigeria?” His presentation, based on theme admitted that the pharmaceutical supply chain is beleaguered with many challenges, which are impacting negatively on the performance of the healthcare delivery as a whole. Aigbavboa listed some of the woes of Nigeria’s pharmaceutical supply chain: stock-outs and product shortages; fake and counterfeit products; product expiration; corruption; poor Infrastructure; weak regulatory system and other disruptions.

According to him, the supply of medicines in Nigeria is largely dependent on imports, with estimated 70 per cent of medicines supply imported; while the balance from local production. Despite the purported good news that this figure has risen to about 40 per cent for local production, he lamented that this is not sufficient to guarantee national drug security aspiration; given the fact that the critical take-off point (the inbound segment) is largely vulnerable.