You know how most families having a sickler as a child continue to pour in so much love, tenderness and care on the child? How the child have to suffer excruciating episodes of the disease, especially severe bone pain? But what happens when a drug, Niprisan that is used to treat patients with this condition get banned from commercial production in the country?!
Prof. Karniyus Gamaniel, the Director-General, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research Development (NIPRD), revealed to newsmen in Abuja that
“we give people who come to the Institute the sickle-cell drug; it is no longer sold in pharmacies; you only get it at the Institute.
He said there was no cure for sickle-cell anaemia but added that the Institute, in collaboration with local traditional medicine specialists had researched and produced Niprisan to manage the disorder. The director general said that the Institute was continually making efforts at producing the drug to ensure that those with the disorder access it always.
Gamaniel said that the drug, which was produced by the Institute, was previously licenced to a pharmaceutical company for sale commercially. He said the commercial price had continued to increase, thereby making the drug less affordable and scarce for many people, leading to withdrawal of the company’s licence by the Federal Government.
He disclosed that the drug was commercially sold at the rate of N3,500 but that the Institute was currently dispensing same at the rate of N300. “People with sickle cell disorder will have to be on the drug for life as there is no cure yet. The drug increases the wellbeing of the individual as significant improvement has been observed.
“Malaria feeds on blood and so persons who have this disorder rarely suffer from malaria disease because the quality of their blood is low but this is just a minor advantage compared to what they suffer. “Before we produced Niprisan, we had another drug that was in use but it had severe side effects and it was scarce, which made it expensive.
There are about six sickle cell centres were established in each geopolitical zone by the Federal Government. The centres offer persons living with the disorder an advantage, ensuring proper check-up and management of the condition.
EXCERPT FROM VANGUARD NEWS