The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JNC International Limited, Clare Omatseye, highlighted the need for an effective drug distribution policy to improve the country’s healthcare system.
Speaking at the 15th Biennial Conference of the Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs) in Lagos last week, she said the importance of pharmacists to improving Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and growing any country could not be overstated.
Under the theme “Pharmaceutical value chain for optimal unitization – Where are we?” she noted that concerted and collaborative efforts are needed to change the narrative of the country’s pharmaceutical industry.
Omatseye identified challenges in the industry as brain drain, deplorable healthcare infrastructure, low life expectancy, chaotic drug distribution, highly fragmented and insufficiently coordinated distribution and supply chain, lack of drug safety, among others.
She said drug safety is a major challenge, adding that to bridge this gap, “we have to be self-reliant. Seventy percent of our medicines are imported and it’s not sustainable. Nigeria cannot continue to be a drug dump. Local industries should be encouraged.
She also highlighted the need for a seamless pharmaceutical value chain, from production to administration to patients.
Omatseye condemned the peddling of pharmaceuticals in the market, pointing out that this unpleasant development has led to the growth of charlatans and charlatans in the industry.
She said quackery paints pharmacists in a bad light, insisting that everyone needs to be on deck to remedy this vice.
She added that providing loans to pharmacists with a double-digit interest rate is unsustainable.
The pharmacist suggested the need for self-regulation to ensure job security, noting that the university pharmacy curriculum should be reviewed.
In her speech, ALP National Chairperson, Ebikemi Victoria Ukwu, said ALP’s vision is to improve the health and general well-being of members of society, while the mission is to promote education to health, maternal and child health, research and development. medicinal plants (Project 91), campaign against drug addiction and mentoring.
Ukwu revealed that the objectives of the national pharmaceutical policy of the ALPs are to improve access to essential medicines by making them available and affordable to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines available in the country and to promote the national drug use in the country.
She said the conference was also an opportunity to launch the ALPs Education Fund to train and uplift girls.
The chairman of the occasion, Dr. Dere Awosika, said that in the United States (US), in 2001, the pharmaceutical value chain was estimated at $350 billion. In 2021, she said it was estimated at $1.27 trillion.
Awosika, who is also a pharmacist and chairman of Access Bank PLC, said the economic, health and societal value of pharmacists must be considered. She revealed that no one can create good health indices except pharmacists.
Awosika advised, “We need to change the mindset of who we are. We are service and development oriented. All voids must be blocked by a consensus of position to practice what we have studied and promised to do in our professional oath.
Father of the day and former Minister of Health, Julius Adelusi Adeluyi advised female pharmacists to be courageous and resilient in championing their cause.