This indeed is no cheery news as the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), have recently warned of increase in cost of essential medicines by over 150% in over two years. The professional body is putting the blame squarely at the foot of the Federal Government over poor policies or wrong implementation of good policies.
The implementation of a 20 per cent duty on imported medicines and the sourcing of drugs at a very high exchange rate of N500 to $1 have taken the average shelf price of an Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) medicine from N700 in 2015 to N1, 600 now with a propensity to hit N2, 000 before the end of March 2017. ACT is the drug of choice recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the treatment of malaria.
President of PSN, Ahmed Yakasai have this to say;
It is obvious that what this policy will do is to increase mortality rate in the ranks of consumers of health services” because the drugs will become unaffordable to the average Nigerians.
The other dimension is that once genuine medicines are not affordable, merchants of death will now increase the production of fake drugs. Once the medicine market is flooded with fake drugs, the other dimension of the NDP to have safe and efficacious drugs would have been compromised”.