2. Economic Recession: Scarcity of important drugs in market- pharmacists cry out
Due to the current shortage of foreign exchange in the country, experts have observed that most important drugs in the country are gradually going into extinction while prices of available ones are very high that low earner cannot afford them.
The experts under the auspices of Association of Community Pharmacists, ACPN, Lagos State branch, said persistence of the problem may endanger the health of Nigerians. They also called on the Federal government to activate the Pharmaceutical Intervention Fund, PIF, to boost local production of medicines. Making these revelations during the ACPN Day held in Lagos, Chairman of the Lagos ACPN, Pharm.Biola Paul-Ozieh, noted that the high foreign exchange rate and the consequent high cost of purchase and importation of medicines were discouraging importers as they are unable to get their funds back when they sell their products in the country. “The situation has also caused the increase in prices of products that have been imported. It is currently affecting the affordability of medicines among the ordinary Nigerians who pay-out-of-pocket for their healthcare. For us to be able to have Universal Health Coverage, we must have affordable medicine.” Further, Paul – Ozieh said: “The National Drug Policy also indicate that we must be able to make our medicines locally. If today in Nigeria, 80 percent of the drugs we use are made locally, the drugs will be more affordable to the populace.