Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called for increased investments in drug manufacturing to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on the importation of quality medicine.
MAN’s president, Frank Jacobs, said at the opening of a new production line by a pharmaceutical company, Juhel Nigeria Limited, in Lagos State, that a country as populous as Nigeria cannot afford to depend on importation of key therapeutic agents. He emphasised the need for what he called medicine security in the country.
Jacobs commended Juhel for investing in a manufacturing plant for the production of maternal commodities and medicine such as magnesium sulphate and oxytocin injection.
Fielding questions from newsmen on the development, Frank Jacobs, president of MAN, said the new plant will further aid backward integration of medicines that were hitherto imported into the country,
adding that with the efficacy of much-imported oxytocin not guaranteed, as revealed by the research conducted by several development and regulatory agencies, producing oxytocin injection locally, is a laudable feat.
“This development will aid foreign exchange conservation, improve the accessibility of the medicine to many Nigerians in terms of price and location as well as guarantee the potency of the medicine considering the environmental conditions in which the products will be manufactured,” Jacobs said.
Ifeanyi Okoye, the chief executive officer of Juhel Nigeria Limited, said that the motivation for establishing the plant was prompted by the need to halt the circulation of low-quality products around the country.
“Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) or excessive bleeding after childbirth, is one of the major complications of childbirths and it accounts for 20 to 30 percent of all maternal deaths. However, PPH is both treatable and preventable using oxytocin injection as a frontline drug of choice, according to WHO recommended guidelines.
“Despite the availability of a myriad of imported brands in the country, maternal mortality is still high due to low quality of oxytocin injections in hospitals and clinics across Nigeria. The result of a research conducted by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention/promoting the Quality of Medicine (PQM) project supported by
USAID and NAFDAC, showed that 74.2 percent of oxytocin in circulation failed quality laboratory evaluation.
“To this end, USP for two years collaborated with Juhel Nigeria Limited towards the production of these maternal commodities and the manufacturing plant is our contribution towards reducing the maternal death burden in Nigeria,” Okoye said.
On the firm’s ability to meet local demand and check faking, Okoye said the production plant’s capacity can meet the need for checking counterfeiting that may reduce the potency of the medicine.