Pharmacists in Nigeria have lamented the impact of COVID-19 on the pharmaceutical sector, saying the hike in prices of drugs is due to the current pandemic.
The pharmacists said 65 per cent of pharmaceutical raw materials and finished products being used in the country were imported from China and India.
Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Abuja and Managing Director, Zinni pharmacy, Wuyep Nimnan Nankap says the hike is as a result of Covid-19 and the erratic exchange rate adding that drugs sold around $10 is now sold for about $20.
“Actually, many reasons account for this, the covid is primary, since the advent of the covid, there are lots of drugs that you cannot access and when you access them, our importers or even our indigenous manufacturers will tell you the cost of raw materials due to ban on some things has affected them to produce locally,” he said.
However, experts say the hike in prices of drugs may affect the delivery of quality health care as a result of influx of counterfeit drugs.
According to the managing Director of the Aloba pharmacy, Aloba Olatunji, to fight the situation, the government has to be involved especially the regulatory body.
“It is a menace we can’t really fight, to overcome it, the security people in the country have to get involved to form alliance with them because some pharmacies in Nigeria are not being managed by real pharmacists, he added”.
“Two or three months ago, we had a case that I reported to NAFDAC on the issue of capsulating pins, we are talking about fake or expire or counterfeiting you can see the level at which it is going and many more like that and the rebound will be a terrible situation on counterfeiting,” said Managing Director, Zinni pharmacy, Wuyep Nimnan Nankap.
He reiterated that the government is neglecting the sector, adding that attention should be given to the sector to improve its activities.
Over 70 per cent of what the country use in producing drugs are imported from China, India and Europe. The drug market in Nigeria depends solely on foreign exchange.