Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Ministry of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, has acknowledged the importance and relevance of Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors (PPMVs) to the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage mandate of the Ministry, hence the need to enlighten, equip and promotes PPMVs as an unavoidable stakeholder in the national health care delivery system.
Adewole who was represented by the Director, Foods and Drugs, Federal Ministry of Health, Hajia Zainab Sheriff, stated this friday at a one day National Stakeholders Meeting on Repositioning Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors, organised by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), held at AES Luxury Apartment, Abuja on Friday.
Though the Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors were critical stakeholders, he said there was the need to promote them assist them to carry out their mandate of contributing to qualitative healthcare delivery services.
He said the Ministry is delighted with the oneness of purpose by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and the Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors, saying â€œwe are all united to deliver quality health care servicesâ€, rather than engaging in bickering war.
The Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Elijah Mohammed said the PCN was collaborating with the Management Sciences for Heath (MSH), Accra, Ghana â€œto carry out a research project aimed at improving health care service delivery by patent medicines vendors, of which the findings would identify the gaps in the operation of the PMVs with recommendations of how to address them as well as identifying the opportunities which can be leveraged to improve healthcare service deliveryâ€.
The research project, he said, was divided into three phases and the first phase of 12-months period, was almost being concluded with gracious funding from the MSH.
The Registrar said the national stakeholders meeting was convened â€œto share vision, goals and updates of the PCN/ MSH collaboration and to harvest views, ideas, experiences on the ways and manners by which the healthcare delivery could be improved in the patent medicines shops.
Speaking on the importance of patent medicines vendors, he said that documented evidences had shown that the very first point of call by the majority of Nigerians seeking healthcare services were the community pharmacies and the patent medicines shops which were private sector driven as primary healthcare facilities.
Hence, he said, â€going by the Federal Ministry of Health renewed commitment to drive the Universal Health Access (UHA) through the primary health care, the place of the community pharmacies and the patent medicines shops as primary healthcare facilities cannot be overemphasisedâ€.
Pharmacist Mohammed said it was in view of this that the PCN was poised to reposition the community pharmacies and the patent medicines shops to improve the spectrum and the quality of healthcare service delivery in these facilities.
â€œThe reason for this is not far- fetched from the fact that the patent medicines shops are more in number and also because they are the most widely distributed healthcare-related facilityâ€, he said, adding that they were more trusted and depended upon by members of the community for their healthcare needs.
The Registrar said upon completion of the project, â€œit is hoped that the structure and operations of the patent medicines shops may have to be stratified and the whole concept metamorphose into â€˜Improved Patent Medicines Shopsâ€™ of our dream with the goal to improve regulated access to medicines as well as the spectrum and quality of primary healthcare services in the PMS.â€
Representing the collaborator, Mrs. Adjo Mfodwo, Director, Private Sector Programs & Partnership Global Technical Lead, Pharmaceutical and Health Technologies Group MSH), Accra, Ghana said the meeting was a right step in the right direction as the importance of PPMVs in healthcare service deliver cannot be overemphasised.
She said her organization which had worked in different ways with patent medicines shop operators in the past 17 years commended the PCN for the initiative, adding that it was through such collaboration that effective and qualitative health care services could be delivered.
Chairman of the occasion, Yaro Budah in his opening remark said the collaboration between PCN and PPMVs was to ensure that medicines were available in a qualitative way to end users and to reposition the PPMVs which were a vital partner in medicines supply, administration and consumption chain.