By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Presently about 70 percent of drugs used in the West African Country of Nigeria are imported. Conversely, local production is running at about 30 percent installed capacity.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has put a total prohibition on the importation of pharmaceutical products under the 2016 Fiscal Policy Measures but special permission is granted to local manufacturers who have to pay 20 percent duty.
The thrust of the policy is to stimulate local production of drugs. This, it is believed, would reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported drugs and other pharmaceutical products.
It is in the light of this that the establishment of the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company Limited (CalaPharm) by the Cross River State Government makes economic sense.
CalaPharm is conceived as a public private partnership (PPP) initiative for the production of quality drugs and other pharmaceutical products to meet the growing demand in Nigeria in general and Cross River State in particular.
Promoting sustainable access to quality and affordable drugs is one of the key objectives of the Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme christened AyadeCare and CalaPharm will meet this objective and contribute to improved health outcomes and the realization of direct and indirect economic benefits in the state.
Calabar Pharmaceutical Company Ltd which is located at the Ayade Industrial Boulevard is more than ninety percent completed with equipment already procured and is expected to begin production in early 2018 with international standards in production.
The standards is expected to go a long way to improving competitiveness and achieve efficient production. The pharmaceutical company by using modern production management techniques will increase capacity utilization of plants.
CalaPharm when completed will ensure the supply of quality drugs and other pharmaceutical products to all hospitals, clinics and health centers across the state operating under the Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme as a priority and other health institutions within and outside the state.
Our healthcare systems face severe challenges including shortage of drugs which negatively impact on access to affordable quality healthcare and lead to morbidity and mortality from eminently treatable diseases.
Calabar Pharmaceutical Company Limited will thus effectively mitigate the challenge of access to the essential medicines people need and save lives of citizens which is what our amiable governor, Senator Ben Ayade promised when he was sworn in as governor.
Beyond solving the problem of poor access to drugs, Calapharm will also reduce to the barest minimum the problem of counterfeit and fake drugs through poorly regulated supply chain systems.
It is a matter of concern that, even when medicines are available, their quality is suspect due to the weak nature of regulation and widespread non compliance with international standards and other critical components of the quality system.
There is already a critical mass of evidence to suggest that the impact of sub-standard drugs is grave. The Calabar Pharmaceutical Company Limited by producing high quality drugs will to a large extent reduce this challenge in Cross River State.
It is a truism that a heathy population is a prerequisite for economic development and thus the governor of Cross River State being committed to the economic growth of the state is doing all to ensure that the citizens renain healthy and productive.
Calabar Pharmaceutical Company Limited is one of the keys for achieving the dream of a healthy and productive populace. We must all thus support this dream and do our bit to ensure it comes on stream.
Emmanuel Etim is SSA to Governor Ayade of Cross River State.
NOTE:Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Emmanuel Etim, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.