The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has called on the federal government to initiate interventions that will help in the development of industrial pharmacy in the country especially as the world is still battling the scourge of COVID-19.
This call was made by the PSN chairman, Abuja Branch, Pharm Ifeanyi Ikebudu during a Career Talk organised by the group at the Top Hill School yesterday, to herald the World Pharmacists Day which is celebrated 25 September, annually.
Ikebudu urged the government to assist pharmaceutical companies with low digit funds so as to help in local drug production adding that the intervention will not only bring about quality drugs in the country but will also help reduce the huge rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
“Nothing underscores the importance of government intervention in Industrial Pharmacy especially in this COVID-19 period. Last year, we had a scarcity of drugs in the country because of the lockdown. Those available were expensive because the ones available and the raw materials were imported abroad. Every country locked up their doors. We couldn’t even import the finished product or the raw materials. That means whatever we had, we had to make do with them and they became so expensive and many people could not afford to get them.
“Last year, the government initiated a N100bn loan package which so many people were not able to access. The government has to give low digit access funds to pharmaceutical companies. Such interventions will help us save so much foreign exchange. Then, we can also export. In the whole African continent, there is no country that is as diverse as Nigeria so we can take control of the whole of the West African region in terms of pharmaceuticals,” he said.
Ikebudu revealed that the PSN took the Career Talk to schools to intimate the students on the importance of choosing the right career path for themselves as he lamented that many a time, students are confused on what profession to undertake as their schools do not have an effective Guidance and Counselling unit.
“Due to peer influence, these children chose careers that they are not adept in. There is need for professionals to align the children’s career with their potentials,” he said.
The highlights of the event which was attended by students of Redeemers Day School, Wuse 2, Junior Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3, Government Science School, Pyakassa and the host school Top Hill School, Wuse Zone 5, were talks from different speakers on who a pharmacist is, how to become one and benefits of being a pharmacist.