NAIP Annual Dues Payment

This is to inform all our corporate members that Annual dues payment has commence since December 2016. Kindly visit the secretariat or our representative at PSN Lagos office, Ogudu.
Payment for NAIP dues for the year 2017 can be made @ the NAIP Secretariat or PSN lagos office, Ogudu.
5 Eleruwa Street, Wemabod
Estate, Off Adeniyi Jones,
Lagos state.

Pay into any of our bank account and submit details to the office or our representative at PSN Lagos Office.
Account Name:NIGERIA ASSOCIATION OF INDUSTRIAL PHARMACISTS
Account No: 0007592033
Bank: GTBank
OR
Account Name: ASSOCIATION OF INDUSTRIAL PHARMACISTS OF NIGERIA
Account No: 0036753009
Bank: Diamond Bank

Industrial pharmacists seek FG’s intervention

Manufacturers under the aegis of the National Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP) have made a clarion call to the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the manufacturing sector.

In a recent interview with Pharmanews, Pharm. Moses Oluwalade, managing director of Miraflash Nigeria Limited, an indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturing company, explained that, given the right attention and support, the manufacturing sector had the potential to yield billions of dollars in annual revenue.

“There should be a deliberate effort to encourage manufacturers by creating an enabling environment for them and opening up channels for loans at affordable lending rates. We are advocating for a special fund that local manufacturers can access,” he said.

Oluwalade noted that the main reason many big companies were folding up was because of unfavourable operating environment.

While expressing firm confidence that the local manufacturing holds the key to Nigeria’s future, the pharmacist canvassed that certain drastic measure must be put in place to promote the sector to rapidly develop the economy.

“We want the present administration to declare a state of emergency in the manufacturing sector and provide an enabling environment so that more companies can come up,” he said. “Instead of providing jobs in other countries, we can actually create jobs here in Nigeria for our populace.”

Shedding more light on his position regarding the Nigerian business landscape, Oluwalade said: “There are several businesses that have closed down due to hostile environment. When I say hostile, I mean no light, no water and no good road. If these problems are properly addressed, more businesses will thrive. At the current rate of lending in commercial banks, no manufacturer will survive. The interest rates have to be reasonable for manufacturers to survive.”

It would be recalled that Miraflash was one of the two local pharmaceutical companies selected by Standford Seed Innovation Programme (West Africa) in March 2015 for transformation of developing economies through the scaling of medium to large companies by intensive training and development of manpower and structural capacity.

Concurring with him, Dr Lolu Ojo, immediate past chairman of the association in Lagos, argued that the manufacturing arm of the pharmaceutical sector was long due for such considerations.

Ojo noted that local manufacturing was quite a difficult terrain, particularly given the many hurdles that must be surmounted in the Nigerian environment.

The managing director of Merit Healthcare Limited observed that it was quite easy to import products and make quick profit, but strictly warned that this should not be the focus of an economy aspiring for growth.

“We cannot continue to live on commerce to the neglect of industry,” Ojo cautioned. “Whether we like it or not, we must have factories like Miraflash that can produce locally. Even if it is intermediate production, once it is mastered, we can start primary production, using available locally sourced raw materials,” he said.

Ojo futher said that he agreed with the notion that the time was ripe for Nigeria to consider declaring a pharmaceutical village where local pharmaceutical production would be stimulated.

“All these monies being used or not being used to buy arms could be used to set up a pharmaceutical village. Let it be divided into industrial plots, encourage people to come, provide amenities and loan out money at five or six per cent, the sector would develop massively,” he said.

The ex-NAIP boss also emphasised the importance of government patronage of locally-manufactured products, noting for example that if the Ogun State government decided to buy pharmaceuticals from companies in the state, there would be more than enough of multivitamins, ampiclox, ampicillin, among others that are used in the state.

“That, to me, is how to make manufacturing attractive and I believe this development will make more people to come on board,” he said.

How Superintendent Pharmacists can improve pharmacy practice in Nigeria

That the Nigerian pharmaceutical market is in a messy state is not news to many in the industry or even the customer. The problems and challenges facing the industry are known to many of us. They have been identified, analysed and endlessly discussed at various forums and yet we sit in the same cesspool of failure to perform at the highest professional level. What’s even more shocking is the failure of stakeholders to find and implement solutions to the problems. And so, the malaise persists.

But all is not lost. There are solutions that we can begin to implement now and they begin with the superintendent pharmacist, the one key player that can take a leadership role in resolving some of the challenges we face today. In subsequent articles, I will address other segments and players in the industry and offer some practical steps we need to take as an industry to avert further disaster. For now, though, we must evaluate the role of the superintendent pharmacist in both creating and getting us out of the current embarrassing situation.

Superintendent pharmacists occupy a unique role in the practice of Pharmacy in our society. In a normal environment, they anchor the industry, serve as principal officers responsible for maintaining the integrity of the system and, where necessary, act as agents of change. In that last capacity, they are sorely lacking in Nigeria today and I would like to call on them to step up to this role. In doing so, they can move the industry forward and help reverse some of the damages that years of neglect have done to the pharmaceutical market.

A superintendent is “a person who manages or superintends an organisation or activity.” A direct extrapolation of this definition will make the superintendent pharmacist the overseer, administrator, manager, supervisor or controller of the organisation that he presides over. By law, he is the legal “face” of the pharmaceutical outlet, premise or factory. He is the representative of the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) and without him the pharmaceutical organisation will not be registered.

The superintendent pharmacist is the protector of the public interest, ensuring that there is a balance between the profit-making goals of the enterprise and the discharge of ethical responsibilities expected of a pharmaceutical business.

The failure of superintendent pharmacists to play their part has contributed in no small measure to the mess that we are currently in. We would have been able to eliminate or, at least, control the battery of unethical practices that currently pervade the entire system.

How did we get to this level where more than 90 per cent of commercial activities in Pharmacy are out of control? If you are a superintendent pharmacist, you bear part of the blame for this malaise. Many superintendent pharmacists like the title and the financial compensation associated with the position but often fail to discharge the corresponding duties. The failures are stunning: abdication of responsibilities demonstrated in the popular but nefarious “Register and Go” activities, and shocking lack of appreciation of the enormous responsibility associated with the superintendent pharmacist’s office.

Over the years, the pharmaceutical regulatory authority has also been permissive and complicating its oversight of the profession: registration is “static”(occurring once a year) and there are no institutionalised procedures in place to interface with the organisation and the superintendent pharmacist, apart from sporadic inspections, usually following pressure from other pharmacists.

The superintendent pharmacist can help change the face and practice of Pharmacy for good in Nigeria. The duties associated with the position entail more than premises and product registration. Everything involving pharmaceutical products should start and end with the superintendent pharmacist, including raw materials procurement, manufacturing, quality control, distribution, sales and dispensing of drugs.

We must, therefore, do everything possible to empower the superintendent pharmacist. They must be sufficiently equipped to discharge the responsibilities attached to the post; this goes beyond the possession of a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. They must also be held accountable for their performance. Furthermore, the industry needsto organise regular workshops for all pharmacists who have chosen to work as superintendent pharmacists.

In 2012, the Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) organised a special workshop for superintendent pharmacists as part of its 15th Annual Conference. The workshop was attended by more than 250 superintendent pharmacists and the PCN, led by the then acting Registrar, Pharm (Mrs) Gloria Abumere, FPSN. At the end of the workshop, a standard operating procedure (SOP) for superintendent pharmacists was produced and sent to the PCN for action. Regrettably, nothing has been done to give effect to the SOP, which we consider a good tool for the superintendent pharmacists.

I am reproducing the SOP with this article, with the hope that the relevant authorities in PCN and PSN will make use of it as appropriate.

God bless Pharmacy in Nigeria.

Draft Procedure to Operate as a Superintendent Pharmacist in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Purpose:

This document prescribes the conduct of a Superintendent Pharmacist in the Pharmaceutical Industry with the objective of ensuring a compliance with the code of ethics guiding the practice of Pharmacy as regulated by the relevant authorities.

Scope:

This procedure is applicable to all Pharmaceutical Industries as regulated by the relevant authorities.

Responsibility:

It is the responsibility of the Superintendent Pharmacist and the relevant authorities with the cooperation of the top management of Pharmaceutical Industries to ensure the implementation of this standard operating procedure.

Procedure:

To operate as a Superintendent Pharmacist, the following attributes and standard are expected:

He/she should be knowledgeable, skilled, licensed by and responsible to the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.
He/she should have the overall professional control of a set standard of planning, implementing and executing the approved Pharmaceutical Policies of a premise in accordance with Act. P17 LFN, 2004.
He/she should set standards and policies for the pharmaceutical aspect of the business.
He/she should ensure that all Legal, Professional and Regulatory requirements in relation to pharmaceutical aspect of the business are complied with.
He/she should ensure that there are appropriate policies setting on the number of staff and their required experience.
He/she should respond appropriately to any system failures or concerns that may arise.
He/she should ensure that all professional activities undertaken within the premises are adequately covered by professional indemnity.
He/she should ensure the registration and annual licensure of the premises and also of all Pharmacists working in the organization.
He/she should set standards and policies for the pharmaceutical aspect of the business.
He/she should be professionally accountable for the day to day level of practice.
He/she should be responsible for the over-all quality assurance of the establishment, according to Section 4(3) of the PCN Act.
He/she should be sufficiently positioned:
to supervise the Production and Quality Control Managers or at least have a dotted line relationship with the key officers in accordance with Section 4(4) of the PCN Act.
To review the Sales marketing practices of the company and bring them in line with ethical practices.
He/she should ensure that every agreement pertaining to the pharmaceutical aspect, entered into by his company is done according to professional ethics and within the ambits of the law.
He/she should ensure that starting materials are purchased following due process in line with specified standards.
He/she should ensure that all processes and procedures that are necessary for compliance to the principles of good manufacturing practice are properly carried out by qualified personnel on a timely basis.
He/she should approve all working document before implementation by production and quality assurance/control department.
He/she should approve all test results before release for use or sale.
Where the business is IMPORTATION only:
He/she should be aware and approve the source(s) of supply.
He/she should approve the product for sales after receipt into the warehouse.
He/she should order periodic testing of the products to ensure that they are safe for public consumption.
In all cases, He/she should review, at a regular interval(monthly), the sales procedures in the company, confirm that customers are fit and proper person or companies licensed to handle drugs.
A written report of the exercise in (s) above should be kept in the company record for PCN inspection.
He/she should be personally involved in all decision making that may impact on products.
He/she should liaise with regulatory agencies as the sole responsible officer of the facility.
He/she should ensure that standards of practice are up to date, understood and followed by both management and staff of the facility.
He/she should ensure proper documentation by institutionalizing a culture of accurate, up to date and accessible record keeping, with controls where necessary.
He/she should make sure clear lines of accountability exist and that a retrieval or recall process is in place in case of product failure.
He/she will be held RESPOSNSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE for any unethical practices that may take place in the procurement, production, marketing, Sales and distribution of the products in the company.
References for Implementation:

Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act (1992 No. 91)
Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act (1992 No. 91). Registration of PharmaceuticalPremises Regulations, 2005
Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act (1992 No. 91). Inspection, Location and Structureof Pharmaceutical Premises Regulation 2005
Code of Ethics for Pharmacists in Nigeria.
Membership of Association of Industrial Pharmacists(AIPN).
A testimonial of compliance to be obtained from AIPN before PCN is approached for registration.
References for Continual Improvement:

A forum or an Association of Superintendent Pharmacists within the ambit of AIPN is imperative to encourage interactions, sharing of experiences, counselling, personal development and networking.
At least 3 years post qualification experience or 1 year post NYSC exposure is necessary before a registered Pharmacist becomes a Superintendent Pharmacist or handles importation of drugs.
iii. The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria should develop computer software that would detect multiple full time employments of Pharmacists.

NAIP advocates life jail for drug fakers

National chairman of the Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP), Pharm. (Prince) Gbenga Falabi, has said that anybody found guilty of involvement in drug counterfeiting should be jailed for life.

The According to the NAIP boss, the present sanction of a fine of 200,000 naira or a six-month jail term for convicted drug fakers is grossly inadequate and cannot serve as deterrents to those involved in the nefarious business.

Pharm. Falabi said NAIP wants the National Assembly to change the penalty for drug fakers to life imprisonment because those involved in dealing in fake drugs resulting in deaths of Nigerians should not have any opportunity to walk away.

He reiterated the determination of NAIP to push for an industry and civil society led anti-counterfeiting war on fake drugs, adding that NAIP is initiating the establishment of an intervention fund that will be used to assist the agencies saddled with the responsibilities of fighting drug counterfeiting in Nigeria.

Pharm. Falabi explained that it is very important to raise awareness on fake drugs because ensuring patients get genuine drugs for treatment is very crucial in the treatment chain. He said that while the hospital may be good, the diagnosis right and the doctor’s prescription correct, with the challenge of fake drugs, all the other efforts made to help the patient will be a waste.

The NAIP boss also said that the pharmaceutical industry has great expectations from current government in Nigeria because the Buhari government has shown that it takes what affects Nigerians as a priority, adding that the pharma industry, being an essential sub-sector of the health sector, will get the support and encouragement it required to back up its investments.

Speaking on the theme of the conference “Transforming the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry: The Big Picture”, Mr Bismarck Rewane, MD/CEO, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, said that the local pharmaceutical manufacturers are faced with challenges of high cost of production, counterfeit drugs/parallel importation, low purchasing power within the population, poor health care infrastructure, irregular government purchase of drugs and delayed payments, as well as weak enforcement of policies.

On growth options for the industry, Mr Rewane who was the keynote speaker at the NAIP conference urged the stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to explore the possibility of development and local manufacture of pharmaceutical grade raw materials, as well as pooling of resources to increase their market share through partnership, mergers and acquisitions.

Rewane noted that the growth of the pharmaceutical industry would have a trickle-down effect on the Nigerian economy by helping to create more employment opportunities, reduce expenses on health care abroad, and help improve the life expectancy of Nigerians.

The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of awards to some distinguished pharmacists for their contributions to the pharmaceutical sector.

NAIP charges pharma industry on workforce development

he Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP), has charged the pharmaceutical industry to come up with strategies that will deliver inclusive growth, build vital competences, create wealth for all stakeholders and contribute substantially to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

NAIP charges pharma industry on workforce development
L-R: Mr Uche Attoh,the keynote speaker and Pharm. N.A.E. Mohammed, registrar, PCN, during NAIP’s 19th Annual National Conference, held in Lagos recently.

Pharm. (Prince) ‘Gbenga Falabi, the national chairman of NAIP, gave this charge during the recent opening ceremony of the 19th Annual National Conference of the association, held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, chaired by Dr Christopher Kolade, former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

According to the NAIP boss, stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry must begin to embrace Systems Thinking and Disruptive Thinking in developing human capital assets across board, while leveraging on technology to build capacities.

He further noted that the pharma industry will need to reinvent itself in order to effectively match, with required skills and competences, the emerging challenges confronting it at the moment, warning that the dearth of production pharmacists will pose a challenge for the current push to encourage the industry in favour of local production in line with the inclusive growth policy of the federal government.

The NAIP national chairman stated further that the pharma industry fully identifies with the commitment of the Buhari administration in restoring investors’ confidence in the nation’s economy, as well as its zero-tolerance for corruption across board.

He, however, urged the government to treat the health sector and the pharma industry as vital segments of the economy, which deserve special attention and preference as a result of their strategic roles in the nation’s well-being.

Pharm. Falabi bemoaned the paucity of foreign exchange to import finished pharmaceutical products and essential pharmaceutical raw materials for local production, adding that the situation portends a very dangerous development with serious negative consequences for the nation in terms of the availability of essential medicines for the citizenry.

He urged the federal government to urgently consider preferential allocation of vital foreign exchange to the pharma industry.

Speaking on the theme of the conference “Workforce Development: Imperative for Industrial Pharmacy Development,” Mr Uche Attoh, the keynote speaker, urged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to take the issue of mentoring of the next generation of pharmacists seriously, noting that young pharmacists can learn a lot from notable professionals in the industry.

He also urged pharma industry stakeholders to market the industry – not only to attract the best brains but to retain such, despite the increasing cutthroat competition for the best personnel in the industrial sector.

Also speaking at the event, Dr Christopher Kolade congratulated NAIP for its 19th national conference and its choice of theme for the conference.

The distinguished elder statesman and seasoned industrialist also urged pharma industry stakeholders to take the issue of mentoring serious, adding that every generation must have a generation to follow.

While expressing confidence that the future of Nigeria would be great, he urged every Nigeria to contribute positively towards making this a reality soon enough.

NAIP laments declining number of production pharmacists

The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) has expressed concern over the dwindling number of production pharmacists in the country.

In a chat with Pharmanews during the recent Purple Tie Luncheon, held by University of Lagos (UNILAG) Pharmacy Alumni, Pharm Gbenga Falabi, chairman of the association, said he was worried that the trend, if not properly checked, could soon cause several local pharmaceutical companies to close down.

“If you look at the number of production pharmacists that we have today, it is not enough to go round the country.

“They can even be counted by just calculating the number of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Nigeria. Mind you, not all these companies have production pharmacists anyway,” he said.

While lamenting that some colleagues had ended up in the banking, telecommunications, and oil sectors, which they perceived as being more lucrative, Falabi encouraged young pharmacists to chart a new course that would make the profession proud, especially in the area of industrial pharmacy.

The NAIP boss further disclosed that, as way of checking the decline in the population of production pharmacists in the country, the association had concluded arrangements to conduct enlightenment tour round pharmacy schools with a view to addressing final year students on benefits associated with industrial pharmacy.

“Of course, we know some pharmacy graduates are not interested in such field. That is why we are taking the campaign to them. It is quite necessary that young pharmacists should begin to pride themselves in the profession,” he stressed.

In a separate interview, Dr Lolu Ojo, immediate past chairman of NAIP, concurred with his successor.

He noted that the industry had indeed suffered a human resource deficit in the past few years, adding that the keynote speaker at the last NAIP national conference alluded to the fact that the best brains in the practice were no longer attracted to the industry.

“This has opened the industry to the near take over by ‘mercenaries’. Industrial pharmacy is the most lucrative aspect of the profession. What is happening now is a cultural shift to the left and it is temporary,” he reassured.

Ojo further stated that he was convinced that, with the right kind of leadership particularly at the regulatory level, industrial pharmacy would get back to the position of quality service and professionalism that had always characterised the profession.

On what could be done to make industrial pharmacy more appealing to young pharmacists, the former NAIP chairman hinted that the solution is multidimensional.

“The industry is too fragmented and we need to have semblance of orderliness before sanity can prevail. The orientation of the young ones needs to change to determine what they want.

“If they are humble and patient enough, they can acquire the necessary skills and competencies that will be required in future if they choose to be industrial pharmacy entrepreneurs,” he said.

When prodded to give the recent statistics of industrial pharmacists presently working in the country, Ojo remarked that the number could be up to 1500 or more.”

Contributing to the discussion, the managing director of Merit Healthcare Limited opined that pharmacy schools were trying their best under a very difficult environment.

“I however think the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the regulatory bodies need to do more in terms of control, advocacy, education and funding,” he said.

The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigerian, (NAIP), is a technical arm of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, and the professional body of all pharmacists in the industrial sector in Nigeria having over 300 companies as corporate members.

NAIP’s uniqueness derives from its technical functions and diverse membership cutting across the manufacturing, marketing, distribution, consulting and publishing segments of the industry.

NAIP To Partner Dangote Group On Petrochemicals

In a renewed effort to make the pharmaceutical industry self-reliant through local sourcing of raw materials, the Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) has concluded arrangements to enter into partnership with the Dangote Group as it plans to launch its petrochemical refinery in 2018.
Speaking with Pharmanews in his Lagos office, Pharm Olugbenga Falabi, chairman of the association, explained that the pharmacy profession has reached a state where it should stop being import-dependent.
“Like the Boys Scout, we need to be prepared. What happens if those countries we are importing from wake up one day and say ‘we are cutting ties with you’? We need to look inward and begin to build capacity,” he said.
Falabi, who is the general manager of Greenlife Pharmaceuticals, noted that immediately after the 89th annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), NAIP will lead a delegation to visit the Dangote Group to make a case for a benzene plant.
The charismatic pharmacist believes that the development is necessary as benzene is a major raw material for most products and additives that the pharma industry needs. Excerpts of his interview with Pharmanews are presented below:

gbenga

How would you describe the progress of NAIP so far?
Well, we have tried to keep our head above water despite the economic challenges. Thank God that, at the last AGM during the previous conference, we pre-registered delegates at the beginning of the year for the conference. Otherwise, we probably would have cancelled participation in this year’s conference (which we cannot afford to) because most companies treat attendance to the conference as an expense. But really, it is an investment.
At this year’s conference, we looked at ‘Manpower Development’ and we got one of our own, a former human resource person with GSK. He is a faculty member who really dealt with the topic. Participants were happy and everyone demanded for the paper of that particular topic.
Generally, the recession took its toll because, as you know, the industry is highly imports-dependent. The local manufacturing industry is not spared too because the only thing I am aware they don’t import is water. Even the treatments they have to give to the water – the equipment, the raw materials, the packaging – everything has to be imported. This is a real challenge to our industry especially the pharmaceutical sub-sector. We have tried through advocacy to make the government take a deeper look and see what it could do in terms of concession rate. Although we have not got there, we are still hoping that they should be able to do something for the Nigerian people. After all, whatever they do is not for the pharma industry, but for Nigerians.

How have your members fared in the face of this economic recession?
I have just read a report this morning in Nigerian Communication Week that was boldly captioned ‘Nigerians in Trouble as Drug Crisis, Hospital Costs Skyrocket.’ In truth, the signs were obvious from the beginning of the year when we started the advocacy. Right now, warehouses are drying out. My major challenge is that the country might run out of stock in less than three months.
Anti-infectives, antibiotics, including antimalarials, are drying up. The few people who are able to bring them in, when you look at the Forex rate, may have to apply the multiplier factor. Prices have tripled! If people cannot afford the drugs before, how many can now?
If the government hastens to the call to widen the coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), that may help. It will reduce out-of-pocket spending. That should be able to cover up for the cost of medication and therapy. I heard that Lagos State is about to introduce a mandatory health insurance scheme next year (from January). If that is done, it will be very good. I have always been an advocate.
Free health is unsustainable; but health insurance is sustainable. People can be made to pay a token and since it is a state-wide thing, it might be able to drive down the premium to less than 6,000 for a year per individual. This will certainly go a long way to help our people.
I know there is a problem with the way it was set up, as regards the capitation model; but obviously, the few who are able to access simple care from pharmacies will see the difference, rather than where they will pack the whole thing inside an envelope for them and they still won’t get better.
The other challenge I think we might have with this economic situation as we had in Nigeria some years back is that we are going to have a high influx of fake drugs. There is no vacuum. We are hoping that NAFDAC will double up their effort to curtail that in terms of pharmacovigilance and in terms of going to the marketplace. The Nigerian Customs too should also be on the lookout to help us; otherwise that would be double jeopardy. You are not just buying at a high cost, you are equally buying fake.
Our members are committed to supporting the government in promoting better health for Nigerians. However we can only do as much as the economy can allow us. That is why we are appealing again to the government to allow us access to Forex at the CBN window, knowing fully well that this will be passed on to the citizens.
When they reduced the duty on pharmaceutical imports – that was what helped us so much that companies didn’t need to increase prices of drugs till the second half of this year. We are here for social service first, and then profit.

If the economic situation escalates further, is there a Plan B in place?
The last time Venezuela opened it borders, it was said that over 3,000 people crossed over to Colombia to get their medication. I sincerely hope it doesn’t get to that in Nigeria. We have 170 million people to look out for. Where are we going to source from? No doubt, there will be increase in self-medication and alternative medicine.
We only hope that it wouldn’t be too late before government considers our plea that the pharma sector should and must be seen as a social service where an emergency should be declared. They should make it possible for us to come to discuss how we can ensure continuous supply, at least for the essential medicines.
Cancer products, for instance, cannot be acquired by anybody with the present Forex rate. You know these drugs have shelf life. Rather than bring them and not be able to sell, you just have to stay away and only bring them in by demand. We hope somebody is listening.

What should Nigeria do to avoid going the way of Venezuela?
Number one, we need to come together in the pharma industry. Right now, we are divided in the line of trade associations. We have the multinational group, under the name NIROPHARM; the local manufacturers group under PMG-MAN; and another pharmaceutical importing group under APIN.
Every one of these associations goes to the same people with different demands. PMGMAN claims ‘I have the highest investment. My exit will result in colossal damage.’ The importers say ‘Hey, I bring in about 70 per cent of the pharmaceutical products people are using. If you don’t talk to me, there might be a challenge of total shutdown.’ The NIROPHARM group says ‘We are the researchers. If you don’t look at our side, you cannot improve on what you are doing. And that can be a big challenge for you.’
Now tell me, who should the government discuss with? This has been a challenge and that is where we are right now. Rallying together, we tried working under the umbrella of the Pharma Industry Practitioners Association of Nigeria (PIPAN). That couldn’t really stand as it were. There were teething problems. Right now, we have approached Alhaji Ahmed Yakasai, the PSN president, and he has chosen to shoulder the responsibility of bringing the industry together. Now we can go to the government and say, ‘Hey, there is a problem. We have this need.’ This will certainly improve the lot of Nigerians.

What is your choice of candidate for the office of NAFDAC director general?
The law that sets up NAFDAC is specific about it. It should be somebody with the most knowledge of pharmaceutical service. If we were to test that law in court, the past DG would have been removed. But we decided against it as men of honour.
Pharmacists are a peace-loving people. We believe sincerely that the current government is one that supports rule of law and will do the right thing. The present acting DG is trying her best. However we wish there could be a reversal of this directive she made recently on not issuing authorisation until NAFDAC visits a plant abroad, and that it is the plant that will pay for the inspection.
When NAFDAC visits, it is at its prerogative and not that of the plants. I think that directive should be reversed because it is increasing the length of time. This government has been preaching convenient means for people to do business in Nigeria and with Nigerians. But this is the reverse and I am hoping they will do something about it fast before it becomes a problem.
We planned to write them but stopped midway when we were told that the PSN under the leadership of Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai has already written them officially. As you know, it is better to have the PSN acting as our collective voice than to have a cacophony of noises coming from several arms of the society.

How prepared are you for the forthcoming PSN national conference?
Despite the economic situation and all that, we are mobilising our members to make sure that the conference is a success. The industry has been shouldering the sponsorship of the conference and I believe that this year will not be an exception. The chairman of national conference planning committee has been in contact with me and, together, we have been mobilising our members.
As a way to further reduce the stress and cost of transportation, we are making arrangement with the Nigerian Railway Corporation to supply us some coaches at a cheaper rate instead of operating trucks on the road to Niger State. That will definitely reduce the cost and our members are quite supportive. We know there are companies that will be ready to subsidise the coaches.
We are just to be spending 21 hours on the road. As far as I am concerned, as an industrial practitioner, that gives me a target audience for at least 10 hours. While people might want to doze off for 11 hours, I can do one or two things with them for the other 10 hours with them. I am not hawking. I am just giving them information about my products and allow people comment until we get to Minna.

Are there lessons to take away from what the crisis facing the industry?
Definitely, like the Boys Scout, we need to be prepared. What happens if the countries we are importing from wake up one day and say ‘we are cutting ties with you?’ Hopefully, it doesn’t happen. We need to look inward and begin to build capacity.
Dangote is building a petrochemical plant. Once the PSN conference ends, NAIP is leading a delegation to visit that project to make a case for a benzene plant which is a major precursor for most of our products and additives that we would need. That is what we are planning so that they can put it in their plan. So while they are looking at the entire industry, they should also consider the pharma industry in their planning. That in itself will make us to be self-reliant in the industry.
I also believe that the CET issue has been dividing the industry. It makes sense for the government to look at it, not by bringing CET back through the backdoor but by ensuring that incentives are put in place that will make even today’s importers to want to become local manufacturers within the next three to five years. With that, we might be making organic growth in our industry which is very important.

PSN Venerates Ayebae, Obiora, Soremekun With Honourary Membership Awards

Amidst a deafening applause, the trio of Dr Chukwuka Obiorah, chairman of Greenlife Pharmaceuticals; Dr Fidelis Ayebae, managing director of Fidson Healthcare Plc and Mr. Femi Soremekun, managing director of Biofem Pharmaceuticals were inducted into the hall of honourary membership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).

The investiture ceremony which took place at the just concluded 89th Annual National Conference held at Justice Idris Legbo Kutigbo International Conference Centre in Minna, Niger State on November 8, 2016 has several distinguished pharmacists (both within and outside the country) in attendance.

While presenting them with awards, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, PSN president, announced to the audience on a lighter mood that by the power conferred on him as the president, he is glad to confer the society’s first set of honourary membership awards on the recipients who he strongly believed have paid their dues in the pharmaceutical industry. “Until I came across him, I didn’t know that Dr (Fidelis) Ayebae is not a pharmacist. Yet he has built a factory that costs about N9 million and made donation of over N3 million to both the PSN and board of fellows. Now my office at the secretariat is looking brand new,” he enthused.

On Soremekun, Yakasai disclosed that long before he became the president, the Biofem owner is known to be a strong advocate of the society. He added that manay donations and relative-assistance rendered to the PSN usually have Soremekun’s handwriting all over them.
The last of the trio, Obiorah, has been described as an enviable personality many pharmacists look up to “In fact, nobody will ever believe that the owner of Lonart antimalarial drug is nowhere near being a pharmacist. Yet his foot prints are everywhere. I hereby congratulate you today as I can confidently say that you have earned your honourary membership of this society,” the PSN president stressed.

In response, two recipients of the awards (Ayebae and Soremekun) applauded the award and pledged to not only abide by all the society’s rules and regulations but equally strive to always represent the profession well. The last recipient, Obiorah, threw the audience into a hilarious mood when he announced that he has already atoned for his ‘sin’ now that two of his children are trained pharmacists.

In attendance at the event were Pharm. N.AE. Mohammed, registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN); Pharm. Bruno Nwankwo, former chairman, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN); Pharm. Olu Akanmu, senior vice president, retail banking at First City Monument Bank (FCMB); Olumide Akintayo, immediate past president of the society and Pharm. Ade Popoola, former chairman, PSN Board of Fellows; Prof Mike Ogirima, president, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA); Prof. Isaac Adewole, minister of health; Hajia Amina Bello, wife of Niger State governor and Dr Mustapha Jibril, Niger State commissioner for health.

Others were Sen. (Pharm.) Eme Ufot Ekaette, past PSN president; Dr Ibrahim Getso, Kano commissioner for health; Professor (Mrs.) Mbang Femi-Oyewo, MFR, former deputy vice chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University; Pharm. Gbolagade Iyiola, PSN national secretary; Pharm. Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director of Pharmanews Limited; Pharm. Arinola Joda, PSN national publicity secretary Pharm. Ike Onyechi, managing director of Alpha Pharmacy; directors of pharmaceutical services and other relevant stakeholders.

culled: Pharmanews Online

89th PSN Annual National Conference 2016 Communique

The theme of the conference was: “Pharmaceutical Industry Contributions to National Development” The conference was declared open by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, SAN, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ably represented by the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac F. Adewole, FAS. Other dignitaries at the opening ceremony included: His Excellency, the former Deputy Governor of Niger State and Chairman of the Opening Ceremony, Alhaji Ahmed M. Ibeto (Santuraki Kontagora), His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Marafa, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi U. Ganduje OFR, Her Excellency, the wife of the Governor of Niger State, Dr. (Mrs.) Amina Abubakar Sani Bello, the Hon Commissioner for Health, Niger State,

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Minister Tasks Pharmacists On Better Service Delivery

The minister of health, Prof Isaac Adewole has called Nigerian pharmacists to accept their roles in the delivery of health care to patients and also work assiduous in harmony with other health care team to put the health care of patients above any form of tussle for seniority in the sector.

Adewole who was speaking during the Annual Scientific Week 2016 an the Ten Million Naira Bus Launch of the Association of Hospital an Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria(AHAPN) Abuja Branch, however commended the pharmacists association for being proactive in their approach to resolving issues in the health sector amicable.

He added that the theme of the event, “Pharmacist-Patient Relationship: Towards better pharmaceutical service delivery, was in line with the federal government agenda to reach out to 100 million live in the community level by improving their socio- economic development and human capital formation in the grass root level.

He added that pharmacists have a great and pivotal role to play in achieving giant strides as regards to the federal government initiative in making health care more accessible to the patients.

Also speaking during his welcome address, the AHAPN chairman, Abuja Branch, Pharm. Peter Enemarie, that the scientific week was aimed at bringing together the members so that they would be abl to exchange ideas and knowledge that will aid towards a better relationship between pharmacists and their patients.

He added that his dream after inception was to end the pressure and pains the association goes through while attending conference by getting a bus which he added that will help the group a great deal. Earlier during their outreach to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in New Kuchingoro, FCT, Enemarie stated that the association has decided to reach out to the IDPs in order to ease their pains as they continue to wait for the time they will be able to return to their home town.

Receiving the gifts, the camp secretary and health cordinator, Enoch Yohanna commended the group for their generosity and promised to make sure that the food stuff were distributed accordingly while the drugs are administered freely to patients in the camp. The pharmacist association donated drugs, food stuffs and clothings to the IDPs and also spoke to them on ways to prevent malaria.

Source:Leadership Online