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Pharmacists end 22nd annual conference in Awka

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NATIONAL Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP), recently hosted the 22nd Annual National Conference in Awka with the theme; Disruptive Innovations: Unleashing the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry.

In his remarks, the National Chairman, NAIP, Pharm. Ignatius Anukwu said the conference was organised to come up with a work-plan that would enable the industry kick start a strategic re-positioning in order to develop and produce more innovative and competitive products.

Anukwu stated that if the goal is achieved, the pharmaceutical industry would be well positioned to contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provide more medicines for local consumption while adding more value to her clientele.

He advocated for the establishment of pharmaceutical industrial parks and urged the Anambra State government to provide a portion of the space at its proposed industrial park for  the pharmaceutical sector.

Further, Anukwu asked the government to provide land for cultivation of medicinal plants, stressing that many extracts of the nation’s indigenous plants are being used for the production of nutraceuticals all over the world.

In his opening remark, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike, said the government was ready to provide the enabling environment for industrial growth.

He pledged that the State was finalising the process of creating an industrial hub so that pharmacists can be allocated space in the planned pharmaceutical industrial park, noting that, the hub will be provided with all needed infrastructures for industrial production as demanded by local pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Delivering the conference keynote address, Dr Anyakora while lamenting that 70 percent of finished pharmaceutical products used in Nigeria are imported stressed that a paradigm shift is required to unleash the Nigerian pharmaceutical workforce, adding that access to pharmaceuticals must be prioritised in health and industrial policies.

He charged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector to develop strategic plan and funding to advance pharmaceutical access, stating that it is also imperative to make significant investment in pharmaceutical workforce development.

Anyakora also asked stakeholders to develop pharmaceutical development and bio-economic roadmap and package incentives to spur local manufacturing.

While also presenting a paper at the conference on the topic: Making Nigeria Africa’s Pharmaceutical Hub Through Private Sector Initiatives, Prof Emeje said that Nigeria must rise up and accelerate the pace of drug discovery through convergence of technology, noting that African government and the pharma industries must express their willingness and commitment to support the partnership for the enhancement of pharmaceutical and health sectors in Africa.

In his address, Anambra State Chairman of NAIP. Pharmacist Ephraim Anyachebe, underscore the need for more information, knowledge and wisdom as the consumer of pharmaceutical products are wiser and if local pharmaceutical manufacturers are not upgraded people will make preference to international products , hence the need to innovate and think right to get available ranks in worldwide pharmaceutical products.

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