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High Cost of Medicine Blamed on Forex Scarcity, Others  

Stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry have blamed the high cost of medicine on supply chain challenges, high inflation rates and Forex scarcity.

They lamented that the current depreciation of Nigeria’s currency has reduced purchasing power and affected drug production.

The stakeholders expressed these concerns at the 5th Annual International Conference of Nigerian Association of Foreign Trained Pharmacists, held in Sheraton Hotel, Lagos State.

The president of NAFTraph, Dr. John Ejezie complained that insecurity is also a big issue that needs urgent government attention.

He added that the country has continued to experience a paucity of goods and services in the healthcare sector.

While describing the challenges as a big obstacle for Nigerian pharmacists, Ejezie maintained the association will continue to reshape health indicators through community-based free wellness efforts.

He said, “These socio-economic menaces are experienced across the globe, and developing economies are disproportionately impacted due to non-robust socio-economic structures that may absorb such societal and economic shocks.

Read Also: NAIP: Essential Drugs Scarcity Worsens Health Indices

“Despite all these societal menaces and socio-economic challenges, we cannot let those wonderful dreams and aspirations dissipate, or anyone or circumstances kill them.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Archy Pharmaceuticals Limited, Dr. Uzoma Ihenatu, described the present economic downturn as a self-inflicted one.

He insisted that the challenges facing the country only need a strong political will to tackle it, adding, “This economic downturn has truly worsened everything in terms of regulation, staff management and all.

“The price of raw materials, packaging, diesel and all have increased, and this will at the end of the day affect the price we push out there.

“The way forward is to take it out because our problem is self-inflicted, and it is something we can solve when we are ready to.

“The hope I have for the country is for things to turn around because it is easy to change the country for the better. Our leaders know that, and I hope they will do that soon.”

In his remarks, a community physician at the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States of America, Dr. Terrance Baker stressed the need for the Nigerian government to tackle poverty to be able to achieve a positive health outcome.

He urged the government to tackle insecurity, cultural discrimination, among other societal issues affecting the country so as to achieve quality health delivery for Nigerians.