• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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FG secures $240m investment for local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals

140,000 TB cases undiagnosed, untreated in 2023 – Minister

The federal government on Wednesday disclosed that it has secured a $240 million investment from a Brazilian pharmaceutical for local manufacturing of generic pharmaceuticals.

The minister, who made this known during a press briefing in Abuja, did not state the name of the pharmaceutical firm, but added that at least three pharmaceutical firms have indicated interest in investing in Nigeria.

Pate, while stating that government is making impressive progress to drive local manufacturing. further informed that two diagnostic companies will be establishing a manufacturing company in Lagos state and is expected to be launched in December 2024.

The minister, while reiterating government’s resolve to prioritizing local manufacturing hinted that the proposed execute order of the federal government to reduce the high cost of medical will place a premium on imported products so as to drive the demand for locally made medical products and devices.

He lamented that the country is currnetly over-reliant on import for raw materials and medical equipment.

To reduce import, the minister expressed the readiness of government to enforce the 5+ 5 policy of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Regulation and Control which stipulates that after pharmaceutical firms have marketed drugs for five years, they should domesticate their production. He expressed disappointment that companies exiting did not adhere to this policy, continuing to market for five years without local production.

As part of measures to reduce the cost of production and create are friendly environment for manufacturers, Pate informed that government is working to streamline regulations and simplify the process that manufacturers follow to get their manufacturing company.

He also reminded that the 2024 budget already provides for a pooled procurement of key pharmaceuticals to subsidize cost.

To fortify the pharmaceutical infrastructure across the nation, the minister noted government has initiated the construction of pharmaceutical-grade warehouses in 21 states in collaboration with Drug Management Agencies, adding that two more warehouses at the federal level are also underway, complemented by the installation of the Warehousing Management Information System (WMIS) – M Supply, in these 21 pharma-grade warehouses.

“This visionary project, commenced in October 2023, is slated for completion in March 2024, with a scheduled commissioning in April 2024.

“The implementation of WMIS is expected to significantly enhance accountability and transparency, ensuring the potency of public health medicines and other health commodities. This infrastructure development aligns with our commitment to improving health outcomes for citizens nationwide”, he added.

Nigeria set to develop lassa fever vaccine

Pate, announced that the federal government has kick started processes to develop a vaccine against Lassa fever.

Just yesterday, government confirmed 14 cases on the suspected outbreak of lassa fever in a military facility in Kaduna state.

According to the health minister, a special task force which includes the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and some foreign partners are currently conducting studies on the disease.

Thr minister said the vaccines willbe locally manufactured when eventually developed.

“We launched a task force to start working towards a Lassa fever vaccine in Nigeria with our foreign partners to start conducting studies on Lassa fever. The task force is doing its work so that in the future when we have Lassa fever, people can take the vaccines”, Pate said.

He further informed that government has made progress on vaccination especially against cervical cancer.

Pate announced that more than 4,95million eligible girls aged 9-14 years representing 80% of eligible girls have recieved HPV vaccination against cervical cancer.

He said the Phase 2 introduction is scheduled for May 2024 in Anambra, Borno, Cross-river, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Kogi, Ondo, Rivers, Oyo, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Yobe, Plateau and Zamfara