The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, on Tuesday in Ibadan, Oyo State, said that local production of drugs would boost employment opportunities in the health sector and enhance quality control in drugs distribution.
The minister spoke at the international conference of the Centre for Drugs Discovery, Development and Production. The conference had the theme, ‘Improving Access to Quality Medicine through Appropriate Legislation and Policy.’ He was represented at the event by a director in the ministry, Mrs Modupe Chukwuma.
“I support local production of drugs because I know that it will boost employment opportunities in the health sector, and by extension in the country,” said the minister.
He added, “Production of drugs in Nigeria has provided opportunity for the ministry to have proper control. For example, we are creating a wholesale drug centre at a shopping mall in Lagos where it will be possible to control drug distribution through a pool.”
He said that many of the drugs manufactured with the N4.3bn grant given to the ministry by the Federal Government were sent to trouble areas like the Internally Displaced Persons camps in the North East, Sierra Leone and Cameroun.
A Senior Programme Officer, African Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation, Paul Tanui, also emphasised the need to have a legislation and policy that would harmonise drug production and control in the country. He noted that some of the laws relating to medical practice in Nigeria were outdated and in need of urgent review.
At the event, former Ondo State governor Olusegun Mimiko, wife of the Oyo State governor, Florence Ajimobi, and the Minister of Health were given recognition awards for their contribution to health development in the country.