NAFDAC Director General, Mojisola Adeyeye

Dependence on Import Causing Drug Cost Inflation – NAFDAC Boss

The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye, has said Nigeria’s over-reliance on imports and foreign products contributes more to the rising cost of medications nationwide.

She spoke on Tuesday at a webinar event organised by The Cable Newspaper as part of the activities to mark its 10th anniversary.

Mrs Adeyeye said the dependence on imported drugs, rather than locally manufactured drugs, is responsible for drug inflation and insecurity in the country.

She pointed out that the number of drugs manufactured locally has been lower compared to those produced by foreign pharmaceutical companies and imported into the country, adding that all the items used for manufacturing drugs locally are also imported.

According to her, this has contributed significantly to drug insecurity and restricted access to medication and medical care caused by an over-inflated cost.

“Our local drug manufacturers import everything except water. We import everything. All pharmaceutical ingredients are imported into the country, and as a result, locally-made drugs are not easily affordable,” she said.

The DG urged local companies to begin local production of necessary ingredients and reduce reliance on imports.

She said: “The reliance on foreign products causes drug insecurity, especially with the devaluation of naira. What a manufacturer could buy for N3 now goes for N10. That was what drove up the cost of drugs. The problem with this is when drug costs go up, and the unscrupulous will start to produce and distribute fake drugs. We already have that.

“I challenge my colleagues in the industry. We need to start making some ingredients locally”.

Highlighting the need for local production, she disclosed that Emzor, one of Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical companies, is set to launch a new drug factory in Sagamu in Ogun state.

“The company will be making three antimalarial drugs. This development is going to reduce the cost of drugs eventually.”

She noted that more companies need to manufacture drugs using locally-made ingredients like Emzor is set to do.

She also noted that strict policies and regulations must be in place to ensure that local pharmaceutical companies thrive.