Going by the current scarcity of foreign exchange in the country, pharmaceutical industries have alerted the public about the impending scarcity of essential medicines needed to tackle high disease burden.
The Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMGMAN, Mr Okey Akpa and the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Dr. Ahmed Yakasai, raised the alarm following current challenges of local drug producing companies and medicine importers to access needed foreign exchange.
Akpa, who dropped this hint on Monday , said local pharmaceutical manufacturers were producing below 30 per cent capacity utilisation, lamenting that it would result in the scarcity of essential medicines.
He however urged the Federal Government to stick to the policy of allocating 60 per cent foreign exchange to manufacturers, including local pharmaceutical industries.
On his part, Yakasai lamented that the low capacity utilisation in the pharmaceutical industries has led many to suspended production. “There are no raw materials to produce. Many are paying salary without any activity. Hence, they have to scale down their activities.
“Some have shut down”Akpa lamented that presently, pharmaceutical manufacturers were producing specifically below 30 per cent capacity utilisation.
“That is not healthy at all,” he lamented, adding, “Obviously, there is definitely going to be scarcity of medicines.”