Industrial pharmacists to harmonise data for sectoral growth


• NAIP gets new executive committee
The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) is set to gather facts and figures on the pharmaceutical sector, to enhance knowledge and proper planning for its growth.

The group, being the technical arm of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), is introducing the paradigm shift from era of guess-estimates to real data to guide activities in the industry.

The new chairman of the association, Ignatius Anukwu, said at his inauguration in Lagos recently, that the new Executive Committee, among other things, was taking the issue of “reliable data” seriously.

Anukwu, who is the pharma manager at Swipha Nigeria Limited, said “data in pharmaceutical business is more or less like light; if you are in a room and there is no light you will grope in the dark.”

He added that without data, no one could estimate the size of the pharma market, whether it is $1billion, $100 billion or $2 billion, which makes it quite difficult for planning and investment.

“But with data, I can plan one per cent of the market and be precise where to be. With good data, we can be sure whether cardiovascular, gastroenterology is where to invest; knowing which one is big enough and rich. But without reliable data, people are just coming into the market and operating without fair idea of what the market is like.

“Even as we speak, there are claims that the pharma industry doesn’t contribute much to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But until you know the size of the market, you cannot really say this is what it contributes,” Anukwu said.

Though the task will be daunting, the pharmacist said further that NAIP would follow the simple way, partnering with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as the agency that has the inventory of what legally comes into the country.

“We will get the info from them. Collate it and have experts make it professional so after a year, we will at least have something on what came into the country as anti-malarial, multivitamins among others. Someone can challenge the result, but it will improve on what we have, instead of not having at all.

“So, in about three or five years we will be able to see a trend that has precision and little for guessing. Even for investors, they can identify areas that are growing and those that are not and be able to plan and impact on business positively,” he said.

Chairman of the inauguration, Prof. Fola Tayo, said the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria needed a holistic ‘change’ and fresh ideas that would maximise its abundant potentials for economic growth.

Tayo called for a vibrant pharmaceutical policy, backed by political will, to command huge investment for local production and change the fortune of Nigeria from import-dependent to pharmaceutical self-sufficient country.

Immediate past chairman of NAIP, Gbenga Falabi, in his valedictory speech, recounted achievements of the committee much to the satisfaction of NAIP members.



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