Developing Countries Tasked On Indigenous Drugs

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By Monday EBALU, Benin City
A Professor of Pharmacology, University College London, Prof Humphrey Rang, has called on governments of developing countries to invest in indigenous drugs discovery so as to reduce the financial burden on Pharmaceutical companies.
Rang gave this call during an International Symposium organised by the University of Benin on Wednesday in Benin.
While delivery a lecture entitled “Drug Discovery in a Changing World” Rang, said that It was difficult to get ground breaking research without finance.
He said that drug discovery was difficult, slow and expensive hence the need for government of developing nations to support their Pharmaceutical companies to produce indigenous drugs.
“It is expensive to produce a single drug, in the UK, about one billion pounds is needed to produce a single drug.
According him, “40 per cent of the cost is spent on research and development while 60 percent on marketing cost”.
Hang, however, said that developing countries would need International support to produce drugs for sickle cell and Cancers.
He listed challenges to drug discovery and development to inadequate funding, long period of development and complex stages of drugs registration.
Speaking on the significance of the International symposium in his opening speech, the Vice Chancellor of UNIBEN, Prof. Faraday Orumwense said that the university was in the fore front of scientific discovery and dissemination of new knowledge to the society.
The VC said that the institution would continue to promote discoveries which would result in direct benefits and innovation and fuel economic growth.
Speaking on the gains of the international symposium, Dr Osahon Enabulele, a former President of the Nigerian Medical Association said that the lecture was apt and an eye opener for the Nigerian government to boost research and development.
“The lecture has made every Nigerian to be aware that they must not depend on foreign countries before they could invest massively in the research and the development of new drugs as it is a task they must do on their own.
He said, “our government must invest seriously in research and that is why again, looking at the 2016 budget there is no inspiration because on that budget, no much emphases is placed on research investment.”
“So the message I got from this today, is that, we should get together as Africans and Nigerians and not look on to the western powers because they cannot do it for us”, he said.