The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is collaborating with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to manufacture high-quality, safe, and productive drugs for Nigeria’s health insurance ecosystem.
Recently, the NHIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 12 pharmaceutical companies and drug management organizations (DMOs) to produce 33 different drugs. This initiative addresses the perennial problem of out-of-stock syndrome in the country’s health facilities. The NHIA has already selected seven states, including Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the pilot phase.
The collaboration with NAFDAC is intended to ensure that every drug manufactured is certified and approved in terms of quality, safety, and efficacy.
Speaking at a joint news conference with the NHIA in Abuja on Thursday, Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, said that the agency would continue to collaborate with the NHIA to ensure sustainable access to affordable and acceptable quality medicines for Nigerians.
“Every drug to be manufactured will be certified and approved by the NAFDAC. The medicines will be tested in the World Health Organisation-Prequalified NAFDAC Laboratory. Also, as part of its Post Marketing Surveillance activities, NAFDAC will continue monitoring to ensure that these branded medicines are used exclusively in the nation’s healthcare facilities. They are not to be found on the shelves for sale” she said.
Adeyeye added that NAFDAC would conduct inspections of manufacturing facilities, evaluate products in the laboratory, grant marketing authorization, and monitor products on the market for continued compliance with quality and safety requirements.
The DG applauded Mohammed Sambo, the Director-General of the NHIA, for this initiative, which she noted would also strengthen local pharmaceutical manufacturers and ultimately guarantee medicines’ security.
In his remarks, Sambo said that the partnership with local manufacturers and NAFDAC would eradicate the out-of-stock syndrome and ensure the quality of medicines. The 33 drugs would be branded with the NHIA inscription under the National Health Insurance Authority. NAFDAC, through the Directorate of Registration and Regulatory Affairs, will also ensure that appropriate and adequate labelling of the medicines is met in line with the agency’s labelling requirements and according to NHIA guidelines.
The categories of drugs involved will start from simple to complex, which will be used to treat prevailing health conditions in Nigeria, such as malaria, upper respiratory tract infections, childhood illnesses, and medicines used by pregnant women.