The persistent drugs and vaccines scarcity and insufficiency in the country could be used as a non-military warfare against Nigeria if nothing was done urgently to address the situation.
This is the position of participants at the just concluded 90th Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in Umuahia, Abia State, which held from Tuesday November 6 to Saturday 1
They, however, posited: “A nation that does not strive towards self-sufficiency in medicine production risks vulnerability to perishing at the altar of its enemies who just need to lace some of its fast selling lines with poisons to inflict substan-tial mortality. In economic terms, a need also arises to grow Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation through the nour-ishment of its pharmaceutical sector. This is why self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical production remains the watchword for a forward looking nation.”
President PSN, Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai, in his address at the Multi Purpose International Conference Centre, Umuahia, venue of the conference, said in a bid to continually contribute to national development the Society has adopted the choice theme, “Medicines Availability and National Security.”
Ahmed said the reasons for this choice are obviously germane, because the place of non-military elements of national security such as “Health Security cannot be over-emphasised.”
The PSN President said: “At the end of this Conference, we shall appropriately position the over 150 pharma manufac-turers of various sizes, four of which already have World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalification for the target of increasing the size of the pharmaceutical market which is presently worth meagre $1.3 billion (N520 billion), accounting for less than 0.25 per cent of National GDP.”
Ahmed’s was corroborated supported by Partner-FS Advisory Leader, Chief Economist and Global Leader of Project Blue, PwC Nigeria, Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, in his keynote address. Nevin is one of the leading PwC’s global thinkers, working at the complex intersection of economics, strategy and regulation with over 30 years professional experience. Nevin criti-cally evaluated potentials of the pharmaceutical sector in its quest to move to the next level in local production of drugs.
The PSN President said: “This international conference will therefore exploit avenues for this much sought after truism as it concerns the Pharmaceutical Sector of the economy and the security of our nation.
“It is a peculiar gathering of over 5000 pharmacists and other scientists nationwide as well as the diaspora(particularly members of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas- NAPPSA) and the conference will attract over two hundred and fifty (250) pharmaceutical manufacturers, importers and other potential investors, so you can only expect a formidable positive force to emerge pharmaceutically speaking after November 11, 2017.”
The Annual National Conference of the PSN is the grandest event in the Society’s calendar. It is always an opportunity to showcase the organizational capacity of the PSN widely perceived as one of the oldest and best organised professional bodies in Nigeria.