Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC

Why Nigerian pharmaceutical firms import virtually all ingredients, by NAFDAC

*Many Nigerians think ‘importation is the best thing, but…. ─Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye

*Says what Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is doing in health sector is phenomenal

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As a largely import-dependent country, barely realising the pressing need to change narrative for the better especially in the health sector of the economy, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has revealed that the only ingredient the Nigerian pharmaceutical companies do not import is water.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, during her appearance on a Channels TV programme Saturday, August 1, 2020, however, disclosed that the status quo is changing as the Muhammadu Buhari administration increases investments in the all-important health sector.

Adeyeye said: “That is changing as we speak…. There are two or three companies now that are going to be making some active pharmaceutical ingredients.

“There is another talk about making lactose. Lactose is one of the non-active ingredients – we cannot even make it because we think importation is the best thing, but it is the worst thing that could have happened to us.”

On the unprecedented ‘blessings’ of the outbreak of the disruptive novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with regard to the healthcare ecosystem in Nigeria, the Director-General of NAFDAC stated that the Coronavirus pandemic has transformed into a catalyst for investment in the nation’s health sector following decades of neglect.

“I see a brighter future for Nigeria because COVID-19 woke up us from our comatose state as a country.

“Before COVID-19, we had huge problems and COVID-19 kind of opened the Pandora box for us, because we were over-dependent, she said.

According to Adeyeye, “the health sector was neglected for decades. And what the Buhari administration is doing right now is phenomenal.

“Because it is something to know that neglect took place, it is another thing to start finding excuses.

The current administration, she added, has now committed a lot of money to the health sector, from the primary health sector to the tertiary, to pharmaceutical companies, to researchers.

As regards what the regulatory agency is doing to support the government’s efforts in this regard, the Director-General stated that NAFDAC is now being audited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it moves to standardise its regulatory process.

“The regulatory system was weak. And I use ‘was’, because NAFDAC is no longer what NAFDAC was three years ago.

“I knew a lot about regulatory science before I joined NAFDAC. And there were things that were done wrong, but we cannot live in the past.

We are making sure we use quality management systems, going through WHO audit, which is a very tasking and arduous process and the best thing that can happen to NAFDAC.

“We have about 200 pharma companies in the country. About 165 are active. We went there one by one to gauge their good manufacturing practice compliance,” she said.

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