Coronavirus: NAFDAC Predicts Increase in Price of Drugs

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  • …Calls for establishment of NIH, NSF

Ayodeji Ake

Following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Nigeria, the Director General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has predicted increase in price of drugs, as importation from China has been stopped.

Speaking during an interview on Channels TV, which was monitored by THISDAY, Adeyeye said 70 per cent of drugs were imported from China and India, but that in reaction to Coronavirus outbreak, Nigerian manufacturers may conserve drugs which consequently may result in price hike.

She said: “We import about 70 per cent of our medicines from India and China. Right now we cannot get anything that is manufactured from China as we speak, therefore a little bit of increase may happen for medicines because whatever manufacturers have will have to be conserved.

“Thank God nothing is happening in India health-wise so we can still get some things from there but God forbid that this crisis deepens, we are going to be in a big mess.”

Speaking further, Adeyeye said she was worried over the lack of investment on research, adding that government should establish the National Institute of Health (NIF) and National Science Foundation (NSF) to champion research and enable conversion of research into products.

She said: “In Nigeria, we need to invest in manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). We need to be active in manufacturing of non-ingredients that goes with drug formulation. We need to wake up our universities to get more proactive in terms of research.

“ Tetfund is supposed to facilitate research. We do a lot of research in the universities but to translate it into reasonable product is a problem we must address.

“To convert research findings into products, we have to put a premium on research. Again I want to refer back to United States where I was for over 30 years; there is what we call National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation.

“We got to invest in science in Nigeria because it’s science that makes active pharmaceutical ingredients, non-active pharmaceutical ingredients, and clinical trials.