Naira devaluation responsible for drug shortage – Pharmacists

Nigerian pharmacists, under the umbrella of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, have revealed that the declining value of naira is responsible for drug shortage in Nigeria.

According to the association, Naira devaluation poses a threat to the delivery of health care in the country.The body particularly noted that due to the continuous fall in the value of naira, Nigeria had begun to experience shortage of drugs.

As a way out, however, they have called on their members to embrace “compounding of pharmaceutical products” which they said was the answer “whenever demand or projected demand for a medically necessary drug exceeds its supply.”

The AHAPN made this resolution during its 18th Annual National Scientific Conference, which held between August 8 and 12, 2016.

The conference with the theme, “Enhancing Pharmaceutical Care through Hospital-based Compounding,” held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

In a communiqué issued and signed by its National Chairman and Secretary, Martin Oyewole and Jelili Kilani, respectively, the AHAPN noted that hospital-based compounding is not only cost effective but also “provides professional satisfaction, advances teaching and learning and offers job creation opportunities.”

The pharmacists noted that compounded drugs can meet the specific needs of individual patients, as opposed to most mass-produced medicines, which still failed to meet some required and individualised needs of patients.

They said compounding of pharmaceutical products should be incorporated into the current strategies being put in place to reduce drug shortage in the country, which, according to them, includecentralised/decentralised procurement system, direct cash procurement, drug revolving fund scheme and the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The communiqué made available by the Vice Chairman of the association, Dr. Kingsley Amibor, read in part, “Compounding can ensure access to affordable quality medicines which is critical for functioning health systems and fundamental for obtaining universal health coverage.

“Compounding can improve drug shortages defined as ‘’the time when demand or projected demand for a medically necessary drug exceeds its supply”.

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