President Buhari Pledges To Support Essential Drug Production In Nigeria

By Ndidi CHUKWU President Muhammadu
Buhari has assured
companies in the
country of government readiness
to support them produce
essential drugs locally, instead
of relying on importation.
The President spoke while
receiving a team constituted
by the Olusegun Obasanjo
Presidential Library to develop
an agenda for the health sector
in the country.
The team was led by Professor
Olu Akinkugbe during the visit
at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to a statement
by his Special Adviser on
Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi
Adesina, Buhari recalled that
the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF),
which he headed in the 1990s,
had developed what it called
“institutional strengthening,”
in which PTF supported
pharmaceutical companies with
resources to encourage local
production of drugs.
“We can revisit the
experience. We can strengthen
pharmaceutical companies to
produce essential drugs needed
in the country locally. We can
then be sure of the quality of such
medications,” the President said.
On privatization of healthcare
institutions as canvassed in
some quarters, President Buhari
stressed the need to be careful
and take a look at the state of
development of the country
before considering the option.
“Privatization aims at
maximum profit. It then
excludes the poor and the
vulnerable from accessing
healthcare. But we have to look
after the poor,” he said.
The Olu Akinkugbe-led
team had earlier given insights
into its agenda for the health
sector to include proposals
on healthcare financing,
developing health intelligence/
observatory to preempt
epidemics, simultaneous focus
on primary, secondary and
tertiary healthcare, preventing
labour unrests in the health
sector, facilitating access to
essential drugs through local
production and the drug
distribution system among
Professor Akinkugbe
commended President
Muhammadu Buhari for
keeping faith with the change
doctrine in the country, adding
that the current buffeting
economic storms were global,
and not peculiar to Nigeria.


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