Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria, Edo State chapter, has decried the drug distribution system in the country, saying it has been hijacked by money bags individuals in the country instead of allowing it to be run by professionals.
The state chairman of the Association, Pharm. Duke Otite expressed his resentment in Benin while outlining the Association’s preparedness to help curtail the spread of the Coronavirus in the state.
“The drug distribution system in Nigeria which should be controlled by the drug professional has been hijacked by money bags, the result is what we are seeing now.
“Let me inform you that unless this pandemic is defeated in time, the situation is likely to get worse even as scarcity of essential medicines looms for obvious reasons.
“Nigeria depends largely on importation of essential medicines as local production capacity is in an all time low”, he said.
Otite said the National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG) that was said to have been implemented in 2018 and later shifted to 2019 has only remained on ink.
“We are however challenged and seriously short changed by the chaotic drug distribution system in Nigeria which gave rise to the birth of the National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG) which was set to be implemented on the 31st December 2018 but was there after shifted to 2019.
“Unfortunately, the guidelines remain only in ink as it remains to be implemented leaving the importation and distribution of drugs to be largely controlled by merchants and shrewd business men whose primary interest is profit and who the Pharmacist majorly source essential medicines from the Central Bank of Nigeria for its giant stride in the fight against the prevailing scourge, called on the state and federal government to declare a state of emergency on the Local production of essential commodities especially, medicines.
He said government at all levels must walk the talk and ensure that the resources allocated to revamp the local manufacturing of medicine in Nigeria gets to the real stakeholders, Nigerian Pharmacists Manufacturers.
He also urged philanthropic Nigerians who are donating towards the fight against the pandemic to also consider strategic partnership with pharmacists in order to provide essential materials needed for the prevention of the virus to the Nigerian public.