German firm re-launches drugs to manage diabetes in Nigeria
German healthcare group, Merck, has re-launched its Type 2 diabetes drugs, Glucovance and Glucophage, to effectively tackle the ailment in the country.
Speaking at the event in Lagos, General Manager, Merck Nigeria, Charles Ajibo, who noted that the move was also to formally announced its presence, added: “Prior to 2014, Merck was represented in Nigeria by agents. So, all products of Merck are in Nigeria, but we are now present in Nigeria as Merck.
We are re-launching our brands in order to re-establish the priorities to our country that these good, trusted and very verifiable products are still here in Nigeria.”
He explained that Glucophage would be 60 years old by 2017, saying the drug had stood the test of time.
Consultant physician with Asokoro General hospital, Abuja, Dr. Henry Onyegbutulem, commended the drug, adding: “I have used Glucovance for some time now and found it very useful on my patients. Its coming has made it very easy for our patients.”
Chairman of the occasion and Head, Department of Medicine and an Endocrinologist, University of Ibadan, Professor Adesoji Fasanmade, highlighted the efficiency, affordability and availability of the drug, noting that this special category accounts for 90 per cent of diabetes patients nationwide.
According to a Senior Lecturer, College of Medicine, University of Lagos and Honorary Consultant to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH), Dr. Ifedayo Odeniyi, serious focus should be placed on the health insurance scheme, even as he urged government to subsidise healthcare and effectively monitor facilities in the country.
He stressed that government does not have a big role to play in terms of education, adding: “We need to educate people in terms of prevention but when it comes to treatment, most of these medications are not manufactured here and when equipment are brought in, especially for monitoring, this increases the cost borne by the patients. This is where government needs to intervene in subsidising care in the form of tax rebate for the companies that bring in these equipment for monitoring.”
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