From L-R: Registrar, University of Benin, Mrs.O.A Oshodin; Guest Speaker, Prof. Humphrey Rang; Deputy Vice Chancellor  (Academic), University of Benin, Prof. Abiodun Falodun, Mr. Luke Obasuyi; at the International Symposium/Doctoral Colloquium held in University of Benin, Edo State.

Pfizer collaborates with the University of Benin during the International Symposium/Doctoral Colloquium. The symposium deliberated on how the Pharmaceutical industry is adapting to the new face of bio –medicine, its successes in providing innovative medicines as opposed to ‘’me –too’’ medicines, the impact of bio-pharmaceuticals, and the future of ‘’Personalized medicine’’.

A professor of Pharmacology from the University College London Professor Humphrey Rang called on governments to invest in research into drugs and cure to advance medical practice in the country.

Speaking at the University of Benin International Symposium/Doctoral Colloquium titled “Drug discovery in a changing world” Rang disclosed that over the past 50 years, new therapeutic drugs have been exclusively discovered and developed by the Pharmaceutical industry which has transformed modern medicine. The rate at which new medicines are introduced remain high. Despite its antecedents, herbal medicine practices of Pre-history, and the origins of apothecaries trade in the middle ages, science-based drug discovery was impossible (with a few exceptions) until the scientific coming –of –age of the key disciplines.

He reiterated that the increasing emphasis on identifying and exploiting new drug targets a strategy exemplified by the development of the first beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs, ACE inhibitors and strains proved highly successful towards the end of the 20th century and the industry produced many profitable block buster drugs.

He posited that in the last 30 years, most notably the growing importance of molecular, cell biology and genomics. These changes have provided many new techniques and therapeutic opportunities, but also thrown up new challenges for the industry.

Rang enumerated the benefits of modern medicine, saying the rate at which new medicines are introduced remained as high as ever.

He said drug discovery depended largely on the support of the government because of huge financial involvement just as he called for international donors supports.
For instance, he said it cost him $1 billion to get into the discovery of drugs for certain ailments.

A professor of pharmacology at the University of Benin Professor Hope Obianwu yesterday said over 4 million Nigerians are sickle cell anaemia patients.

He said the only cure for sickle cell “though funny” is marijuana which is identified as a narcotic. My research on sickle cell anemia which we have used and proved the efficacy is Indian hemp for the proper treatment of sickle cell anemia “that is the good, the bad and the ugly side of marijuana.

Representative of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company at the event, Luke Agbo said Pfizer Company in partnership with the University of Benin believes in making the world a healthier place. “Partnering with the university in programmes with this will help expand the broad of knowledge.” He said.

He added that, the lecture exposes students and stakeholders in the medical sector the opportunity to appreciate science noting that,” Pfizer is doing a lot of work to enable our local scientists to develop strengthen that capacity and also trying to create an enabling environment for young intellectuals, particularly the medical and pharmaceutical students.”


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