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Take advantage of AfCFTA, NAFDAC urges pharmaceutical companies

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Nigerian pharmaceutical companies must be ready for trading their products across the continent with quality products that can be approved in the different countries through continental reliance among regulators, the Director General, National Agency for Food Administration and Control, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye has said.

Adeyeye said this is being underscored because of the African Free Trade Agreement that allows free trade among African countries.

The AfCFTA is a free trade area, which has 43 parties and another 11 signatories, making it the largest free-trade area by number of member states, after the World Trade Organisation, and the largest in population and geographic size.

Speaking on ‘From Green to Gold: Operational Realities in the 21st Century at the 50th Anniversary of Daily-Need Industries Limited’ in Lagos, the NAFDAC boss emphasised that Research and Development is an important creativity and innovation that several companies will need to incorporate into the manufacturing environment.

Adeyeye, in a statement signed by the NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, on Sunday, said that this will encourage research and clinical trials of new molecules, immune-modulators, complementary alternative medicines, especially for some non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, amongst others.

She pointed out that an innovation that COVID-19 pandemic has taught us in Nigeria is embracing as long overdue the manufacturing of vaccines, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and excipients, stressing that until we have at least five companies as a starter, making these pharmaceutical ingredients, and one or two companies manufacturing vaccines, Nigeria will remain insecure.

Knowing the strides that Daily-Need has made over the last 50 years, she expressed confidence that the diligence, strategic leadership, and the response to challenges through improvement in the manufacturing premise with continuous quality monitoring, will generate into a future where innovation and creativity will be embraced for drug security, health security and subsequently universal health coverage.

She disclosed that Daily-Need was one of the companies that was inspected under the NAFDAC/UNIDO GMP Road Map using international standards, and some of the indicators for that inspection included three for the manufacturing site – premise, equipment, and utilities.

She enthused “It is good to reminisce about the Seed that was sown decades before and how tendering of the green has led to the growth and the golden fruit that it has yielded” adding that in the pharmaceutical industry or the regulatory world, there is no one-off.

“The tendering of the fruit is a continuous endeavor. Therefore, the Sower must be progressive in continuous quality monitoring. Many of our pharmaceutical companies, including Daily-Need have kept up with this quality monitoring’’.

The proactiveness of a company in the above stated attributes, she added, will reduce risk of failures of operation.

“As an example, adopting a business continuity plan due to unexpected changes. I will give two practical situations; during a pandemic, a company will ensure that the needs and expectations of the customers are met, and the institution keeps functioning optimally during such times. Another example is the change in the format of submission of drug registration applications that NAFDAC started enforcing about three years ago’’.


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