…Seeks financial and healthcare subsidy
The Society for Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing of Nigeria (SPSMN), a professional association, has called on the federal government to invest in pharmaceutical security and education.
The President of the association, Pharmacist Tunde Oyeniran, made the call at the induction ceremony and investiture of fellows in Lagos.
“We do not have the wherewithal to do primary research, which takes place in pharmaceutical schools. Invest in pharmaceutical education.
“There’s what we call food security. There is also what we call pharmaceutical education. 80 per cent of the products used in Nigeria are not manufactured here,” he lamented.
Oyeniran also emphasised the need for the government to take medicine security seriously. “We don’t have to import everything. Covid-19 exposed our precarious need for medicine security.”
He cited that India has gone very far because the government decided to help the pharmaceutical industry.
“In most places outside Nigeria, when you want to borrow money from the bank, you borrow at two per cent. In Nigeria, you borrow at 31/32 per cent. How can you compete?”
The president recounted their experience of products manufactured in Nigeria being far more expensive than the ones imported.
“Cost of finance and machinery are part of it. Those are the issues the government needs to sit and address,” says the president.
While describing the pharmaceutical industry as an area for a subsidy, Oyeniran continued, “This subsidy goes into the whole society; we all get sick.
“Pharmaceutical manufacturers require financial and health subsidies to do well, wavers at the port for their equipment. The government can start by making it available in the single digit.”
On the part of SPSMN, Oyeniran expressed the association’s readiness to ensure members keep to standards and professionalism to advance the sector and foster the use of drugs among patients.
He said recognising the significance of knowledge, training, ethics and integrity in the sales and marketing of drugs will make a great impact on the nation’s health and well-being.
Oyeniran highlighted that the SPSMN aims to bring together those involved in sales and marketing, whether they are pharmacists or not.