Mohammed Ali Pate, Nigeria’s coordinating minister of Health and Social Welfare has initiated an engagement with pharmaceutical companies to explore strategies for reducing drug prices.
Pate announced this on Friday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, following an increasing outcry over how the unprecedented rise in drug prices has worsened the cost of living crisis facing many Nigerians.
BusinessDay reported that many Nigerians face an agonising choice of having enough to eat or buying lifesaving medicines that keep their health in check.
“We have scheduled an invitation-only meeting next week with the key national actors in the industry to follow up and find workable solutions,” Pate stated.
The minister said he already met with the representatives and chief executives of pharmaceutical companies at the ongoing 64th National Council on Health in Ekiti State.
He sought to gain insights into their perspectives and challenges, aiming to find workable solutions that protect the public interest.
“We are concerned about the high out-of-pocket expenses Nigerians experience to access medicines and other pharmaceutical products,” the minister stated.
“The government as part of its Renewed Hope Agenda, is keen to find ways to reverse the hardship of Nigerians in this regard.”
He further noted that the ministry is working towards policy actions that may address the high prices of medicines, especially for the most vulnerable Nigerians.
Recognising the importance of unlocking value chains within the healthcare sector, the ministry is advancing the “Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain Initiative” to foster sustainable local production of critical health products.
More details coming…