Board Of Fellows of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (BOF-PSN) Holds 6th Public Lecture In Awka


  By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

The 6th Public lecture of the Board Of Fellows of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (BOF-PSN) was held last Wednesday in Awka the Anambra State Capital.

Speaking during the event the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, CON called on the government to partner with local pharmaceutical manufacturing industries for production of high quality drugs instead of issuing  licences for importation of drugs and collecting revenues from the importers.

Obi who called for partnership With local pharmaceutical manufacturing industries in Nigeria recalled how he visited a primary health centre in an outskirt of Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and discovered that there were 50 pregnant women in the hospital, with just one medical staff attending to them.

According to him, there are about 24,000 primary health centres in the country, but many of them are not functional. He added that the exit of multinationals has cost Nigeria N95 trillion in five years.

 Describing Nigeria as the only country where regulators have become revenue agents, Obi noted that there is need to prioritize issues concerning health such that in addition to providing health insurance to all the citizens, there should be a deliberate policy by government to ensure local production of drugs and medicines.

Speaking on the theme: "Access to Quality Medicines in An Unstable Environment’', Obi bemoaned the state of the nation’s health sector, lamenting that many pharmaceutical companies have left the countr

y, thus making drugs very expensive for the poor, which is why most families have resorted to prayers, as the only good medicine they know.

According to Obi, “In Nigeria, if you want to register a product, you have to beg NAFDAC which ordinarily should be begging you to render this service to you. Here, it takes up to three years to register a product, while it takes between two and six months to do so in other countries.

"Those involved in importation even face harder times as they contend with obstacles in procurement, foreign exchange and uncontrolled inflation, which is the reason the cost of the imported products keeps rising.These are some of the things crippling the system and the major problem is that the leaders do not understand what they are supposed to do.That is why I say that unless we dismantle the criminal system, currently operating in our public sector, nothing will move forward. We need to focus on production.The problem in our hands cannot be solved unless all of us come together and say we cannot continue this way.”

The Chairman of the occasion, Igwe Alfred Achebe (Agbogidi), the Obi of Onitsha,  appreciated the Board of Fellows of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria for organising the public lecture.


Contributing, the chairman of the Board of Fellows, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (BOF-PSN), Dr. Joel Adagadzu, who lauded Peter Obi for his contribution, said, "His recommendations will provide the BOF with additional discussion points as we work closely with the leadership of PSN to continue the dialogue with government on finding equitable solutions to access to quality medicines for our teeming population."

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman Planning Committee,  Pharmacist Martins Igbonacho, who welcomed the guests on behalf of the central planning committee of the BOF-PSN, said, "This is the first time the meeting is being held physically in Anambra State.The meeting before this was held virtually as e result of the Covid pandemic restrictions.We are glad to be here live and direct to witness the great hospitality of the Anambrarians.

"This  year, our theme  "Access to Quality Medicines in an Unstable Environment," is particularly timely and significant in our nation today and we are privileged to have an assembly of distinguished personalities gracing this occasion.

This gathering is not just an opportunity to discuss the issues at hand but a platform to forge meaningful solutions.The knowledge and insights shared by our eminent speakers and panelists will undoubtedly spark innovative approaches and strategies to overcome the barriers we face."

Pharm. Igbonacho further appreciated members of both the Central Planning Committee and the Local Organising Committee for their unwavering commitment and services towards  achieving a successful 2024 Mid Year meeting and award dinner.

He equally thanked the Chairman and Executive committee of BOF for availing them the opportunity to serve and for the wonderful support accorded to them.

Dr Afam Obidike, Anambra State commissioner for health, the Acting Vice Chancellor of Unizik, Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, among others spoke at the occasion.

Presenting the vote of thanks, Pharm.Damian Izuka, appreciated members of the planning committee for their immense support and guests for gracing the occasion.

Meanwhile, addressing journalists after the event, the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee, Pharm. Uche Apakama, said, "Access to quality medicine in an unstable environment can be challenging due to various reasons. In an unstable environment, there may be disruptions in the healthcare system, conflicts, political unrest, or lack of infrastructure, all of which can hinder the availability and distribution of quality medicines. 

Pharm. Apakama added that in addressing the challenges of accessing quality medicine in unstable environments, a comprehensive approach involving different stakeholders, including governments, healthcare providers, international organizations, and NGOs, is required.

The Chairman BOF LOC Publicity, Prince Chijioke Ofomata, PhD, FPSN, also informed journalists  that the Board Of Fellows (BOF), which is an elite group within the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), is made up of senior and highly accomplished members of the association who have made significant contributions to the pharmaceutical profession in Nigeria and have thus taken the mantle to host public lectures in line with pertinent issues of the day in other to align both Pharmacists and the Public with expectations of the times in the pursuit of a better Nigeria.

He said, "The primary role of the Board of Fellows is to promote professionalism, excellence, and ethical conduct within the pharmaceutical industry. They serve as mentors and advisors to other members of the Society, providing guidance and support in their professional development."The Board of Fellows also plays a crucial role in promoting and advocating for the interests of the pharmaceutical profession in Nigeria. 

"They participate in policy-making processes, engage in research and development, and work towards ensuring the availability and accessibility of safe and effective pharmaceutical products in the country.



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