As part of efforts to strengthen local production of medicines in Nigeria, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), will hold a brainstorming session with stakeholders May 25th on the gains in local production of medicines for the country.
Speaking during a press conference in Lagos to announce the forum, the Executive Secretary, PMG-MAN, Obi Adigwe, said the session would explore initiatives that will aid local manufacturing of medical commodities through policy changes, improved access to finance, increased procurement and patronage.
He said the conference would also create opportunity for local manufacturers and other key stakeholders within the public and private sector to come together to learn more about the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, its current challenges with supply chain management and to discuss ways to create an enabling environment for local manufacturers.
â€œThis will help address PMG-MANâ€™s aims and objectives which include creating a forum for better understanding between the PMG-MAN and the government, thereby creating a medium for interaction and understanding between PMG-MAN and organisations within the same field.â€
According to him, this year, PMG-MAN is supported by Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), an association representing the countryâ€™s foremost private sector platform, established to complement the outcomes by leveraging private sector innovation, advocacy, impact investments and partnerships.
For the Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), Muntaqa Umar-sadiq, PHN and PMG-MAN will bring complimentary skills to the table to reduce the needless deaths of women and children caused by lack of access to life-saving medicines.
Umar-sadiq said PHN was specialised in bringing private sector resources and techniques to support the health sector, adding that the organisation set up the Africa Resource Centre for supply chain in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He stressed the need to bring down Nigeriaâ€™s pharm-spend of 15 to 20 per cent to five per cent as obtained in other countries.
â€œPharma spend in Nigeria is still 15 to 20 per cent of the total health expenditure compared with five percent in other countries.
â€œWe need to improve access to medicines as many of our women and children die needlessly. All of what we are doing means nothing to the average Nigerian if we donâ€™t make sure that drugs get to the last person. This is why supply chains and logistics for manufacturers become very important,â€ Umar-sadiq said, stressing the need to unlock the market potential of the local drug manufacturing industry to ensure Nigerians have access to affordable medicines.
He said the forum, which will hold in Transcorp, Abuja will help address issues around local production of medicines in the country.