FG to Issue Executive Order Against Rising Cost of Pharmaceuticals — Pate

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate, has said an executive order will soon be issued to curb escalating drug prices in the short-term in the country.

Pate further said the mid to long-term goal involved the domestication of imported drugs within the next three years, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade.

Pate at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday also said in a strategic move to fortify the pharmaceutical infrastructure across the nation, the Federal Government initiated the construction of pharmaceutical-grade warehouses in 21 states in collaboration with drug management agencies.

He added that the two additional warehouses at the federal level were also underway, complemented by the installation of the Warehousing Management Information System (WMIS) – M Supply, in those 21 pharma-grade warehouses.

“This visionary project, commenced in October 2023, is slated for completion in March 2024, with a scheduled commissioning in April 2024.

“The implementation of WMIS is expected to significantly enhance accountability and transparency, ensuring the potency of public health medicines and other health commodities. This infrastructure development aligns with our commitment to improving health outcomes for citizens nationwide.

“Furthermore, the government has taken strides in advancing healthcare data management. Essential medicines and narcotics utilization across the three levels of healthcare have been successfully onboarded onto the National Health Logistics Management Information System (NHLMIS) platform.

“This decisive step not only strengthens our international image by enhancing medicines reporting but also establishes a robust framework for monitoring and optimizing the supply chain.

“​In addition, the Federal Government has led the development of the maiden National Policy on Cosmetics Safety in Nigeria, a crucial policy that will guide the production and safe use of cosmetics in the country.

“Moreover, the development of two Unified Food Safety Training Manuals, focusing on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles as well as the requirements for Good Hygiene and Manufacturing Practices (GHP/GMP) along the food supply chain, underscores our commitment to promoting food safety and hygiene practices across the nation.

“These initiatives collectively signify our dedication to advancing both pharmaceutical and food safety standards, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being of our citizens.

“Our efforts to promote medical industrialization are gaining momentum. Through strategic partnerships and funding initiatives, we are unlocking the full potential of our healthcare sector.

“I am pleased to announce that the Ministry has secured a $1 billion pledge from Afreximbank, alongside commitments from foreign partners, to support our endeavors in this regard,” the minister said.