Aba branch of the National Association of Patent Medicine Dealers (NAPMED), Aba branch has called on the government to support local manufacturing of drugs for common diseases to ensure availability and affordability.
The Chairman, NAPMED, Tenant Road Branch, Aba, Mr. Kanayo Anyaka made the call on Thursday in an interview with News Echo in Aba.
Anyaka lamented that drugs sold at the rate of N250.00 about January 2021 are now sold at the rate of N600.00.
He said that the situation had put some drugs beyond the reach of the poor in Nigeria, adding that the rise in the price of drugs and pharmaceutical products is as a result of the high rate of Forex which affects most products in Nigerian markets because it is an import-dependent country.
He called on governments to support the local production of pharmaceutical products and drugs in Nigeria through favourable policies to save more lives and better care for sick people.
Udochukwu Idika, a dealer said the price of the products have skyrocketed because of the high rate at which the dollar exchanges with the Naira.
He said, “We are discovering now that because of the skyrocketing prices of these products, many people now do not ask for the products of the companies they used to buy before.
“They are now asking for the cheapest type of drugs that they were buying before because of the cost which has gone up.
“I think the government should regulate the pricing of some of these products or ensure that only government agencies distribute them to ensure controlled pricing.”
Another dealer, Mr. Emenike Odo said that the failure of the Naira at the official market had brought much pains for both dealers and users of drugs because it had resulted in low patronage and turnover.
Odo said that the US dollar rise was increasing the tendency of drug importers to reduce the active ingredients of drugs they are importing into the country which could result in complications for sick people. He said that if the government could take steps to improve drug manufacturing in Nigeria, it would save lots of lives, boost the country’s revenue and reduce capital flight.