High cost of medicine: Don seeks tax waiver for drug manufacturers

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

In order to crash the rising cost of drugs in Nigeria, a Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Sciences, University of Ilorin, Isaac Aremu, has urged the federal government to grant a five-year tax waiver to willing investors in the drug manufacturing sector.

Aremu made the appeal over the weekend while delivering the 252nd inaugural lecture of the university of Ilorin, tilted “Drug Formulation as Essential Construct for Safe Delivery”.

The Inaugural Lecturer said with astronomical cost in the prices of imported drugs into the country which is getting beyond the reach of ordinary citizens, the country has no guarantee for security of medicines.

He said: “The pharmaceutical industries in Nigeria heavily rely on imported raw materials, with estimates suggesting that over 70% of raw materials used in the production of medicines are imported. More worrisome, recently, is the exit of some pharmaceuticals like GSK, Sanofi , Procter and Gamble, etc from the country. Cost of some essential medicines like antibiotics, life life-saving anti-asthmatic drugs have gone up astronomically beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerians. This poses a great danger to the health sector. Nigeria as a country has no guarantee of medicine security with over-dependence on imported raw materials. The time to ensure the development of medicine locally is now.”

Aremu also advocated the setting up of herbal centre in the university medical centre or the faculty of pharmacy to provide health services.

“The establishment of pharmaceutical raw materials manufacturing industries, where synthetic and herbal raw materials can be processed for sale of finished products of manufacturing industries cannot be over emphasised. Tax waiver for at least five years should be guranteed for willing investors”, he said.


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