Amidst the fears of a global shortage of essential medicines from leading producers and exporters such as China and India, as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP), has partnered with Bloom Public Health through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to better reposition the Nigerian pharmaceutical industries to engage in manufacturing of essential medicines and strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain system in Nigeria.
The partnership was forged in line with the current actions of Global Health stakeholders, in creating a long-term solutions to address the current and future impact of COVID-19 on the global medicine supply chain.
Bloom Public Health, which specializes in supply chain management, pharmaceutical quality systems and policy for public health in Africa, accepted as one of its objectives in partnership, to provide technical assistance to NAIP in actualizing Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Parks in Nigeria. The Pharma Parks will increase local manufacturing of medicines and reduce dependence on importation of some medicines from overseas. Bloom will also support the association to develop programs that will enhance the awareness of the Pharmaceutical hub in Nigeria and internationally.
The CEO, Bloom Public Health, Professor Chimezie Anyakora said, “the MoU is a big win for Nigeria and Africa and is a good step in the right direction. The impact of the disruption of the pharmaceutical supply chain is huge and will be felt in months to come. At Bloom, we are excited by the various quick interventions of different agencies of government to solve this problem. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stepped out strongly with finances to provide a solution and support the Pharma industry. What NAIP is planning to do will complement this effort and bring long term impactful intervention that will get the country ready should there be another pandemic of this nature, and also complement all other interventions.”
Commenting on this, the National Chairman of NAIP, Pharm. Ignatius Anukwu stated that he is excited about the development as NAIP has identified Bloom Public Health as a strategic partner to actualize the establishment of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Parks in Nigeria as a panacea for self-sufficiency in essential medicine availability. This will revolutionize the Nigerian Pharmaceutical sector. Already, NAIP has contracted the development of a business case for the establishment of the industrial parks, which is expected to be ready in a few months. The National Chairman also commended the CBN initiative and stated that NAIP will take full advantage of the low-interest intervention funds. With such infrastructure and capacity in place, Nigeria will be better equipped for epidemics and pandemics like COVID-19 with reasonable quantities of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and excipients in the country.
Given the shared interest, both Parties desire to work together on a mutual strategy of strengthening the health systems to guarantee access to safe and affordable health products for Nigerians.