Dr. Paul Orhii
By Steve Dada
The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii has expressed optimism that Nigerian pharmaceutical industry will soon join countries of the world whose quality of drugs have achieved the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) pre-qualification for distribution.
Orhii who expressed optimism during the inauguration of the Vita Health Limited and IDA Foundation Strategic Alliance in Lagos recently, described the coming together of the two leading international companies as a healthy one for Nigeria in its quest to achieve the WHO’s pre-qualification.
He lamented that a very small quantity of the drug requirement for the country is produced locally, while larger quantity are being imported from overseas, saying, the quest of Nigerian stakeholders in drug industry to ensure that the country’s drug production meet-up with the standard required by the WHO has yielded little or no result. “ The marriage between Vita Health and IDA Foundation will provide the desire result,” he said. The DG said he has visited warehouses of some of the giant pharmaceutical companies and expressed satisfaction with what he has seen, particularly in India, stressing that by next year, ‘’we should be able to have some of our pharmaceutical companies meeting the WHO pre-qualification, the coming of the two companies now is strategic because Nigeria is already looking for something like this.’’
NAFDAC boss, who said one of the products expected from the alliance of the two companies is female contraceptive, said that it will reduce the extent of deaths from unwanted pregnancy. The Managing Director of Vital Health, Dr. Kiran Virat in his welcome address said the company was a most recent addition to the Vita Group founded in 1981 for its various operations in Nigeria and indeed West Africa, where it has since become a leading business house, with a current employee capacity exceeding 3000 personnel including expatriate from different countries.
Virat said the mission of his company is to be in the business of improving the health of the people through research, development and marketing of safe and high quality pharmaceutical and consumable health care products on affordable price, caring for the people and creating responsible and sustainable wealth for its shareholders.
He said the company which has a special focus to join the mission of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, is poised to take advantage of its experience in the pharmaceutical sector and operate in most of the highly demanded therapeutic segment to provide high quality drugs on affordable prices to the Nigerian populace.