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April 21, 2024
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Institute, Foundation partner to address gaps in Nigeria’s pharmaceuticals

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By Lucy Ogalue

The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), is partnering with the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF) to address gaps in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical and vaccine sectors.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Sunday that the partnership is in line with the Presidential Initiative to unlock the health sector value chain.

According to a source, both organisations are set to organise a High-Level Meeting on March 18 to March 19, aimed at driving the purpose.

“The one -day High Level Dialogue is targeted at identifying and addressing sector-wide contextual technology gaps in pharma, vaccines, and related industries.

“It will be followed by a technical session expected to strengthen public health-oriented patent guidelines and intellectual property (IP) policies.

“It has an overall goal of achieving sustainable local manufacturing of medicines and vaccines in Nigeria,” the source said.

NAN gathered from the source that the High-Level Dialogue and the Technical Session to be held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja will be attended by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa.

The source said that international delegations from several countries, including Rwanda and Cote D’Ivoire had also confirmed attendance to the event.

“Notable among confirmed delegates are Prof Padmashree Sampath, the Chief Executive of the APTF and Prof Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, the Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation at the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“The Nigerian Team will be led by Dr Obi Adigwe, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NIPRD.”

“Other dignitaries include the Senate Committee Chair for Health, Sen. Ipalibo Banigo and Dr Yanko Yordanov  the Amb. of Bulgaria to Nigeria, among others.

According to the source, the meeting will discuss critical themes, including the best ways to measure technology gaps in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical and vaccine sectors.

The source said policy options to address private sector development, strengthening public sector engagement, and the exploration of existing intellectual property laws and policies would be deliberated.

The source said other areas include patent and related capacities for assessment of health technologies; and a review of the implementation of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) flexibilities at the national level for Nigeria.

“The event will promote discussions and deliberations among key stakeholders from the private sector and key public sector institutes and national agencies.

“ It also includes capacity building activities for all stakeholders while exploring peer review, country exchange initiatives and collaboration growth opportunities.

“The event will set the stage for a longer programme on technology needs assessment to build Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector for which the APTF will partner with NIPRD and the Federal Ministry of Health,” the source said.

NAN reports that NIPRD is a government agency under the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The Institute was established to enhance the development and commercialisation of health products such as phytomedicines, pharmaceutical inputs, drugs, and biological products, including vaccines from Nigeria’s indigenous natural resources.

The APTF is an independent regional agency established in Kigali, Rwanda, by the AfDB .

It aims to support African pharmaceutical companies to build technological capacity to diversify their product baskets, and enhance access to technological know-how of manufacturing products and processes.

The APTF also aims to strengthen the capacity of local research and development ecosystems, including through skills building to support the creation of new knowledge in the domestic pharmaceutical sector. (NAN)

Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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