Chief Medical Officer of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge, has said that provision of drugs at cheaper and affordable prices for the poor masses of the nation was possible for Nigeria if she could approach the World Health Organisation (WHO) for permission to produce vaccines and tablets.
Speaking in Ibadan, Alonge said Nigerians were always at the receiving end of bad government policy, and that the country would do a lot of favour to those who are in need of special drugs for treatment of complex ailment if the Nigerian government did what India did instead of importing drugs into the country.
He said: “At my age, I think I am an opinion leader in this country. Because of the shortage of opioid in India, the country got permission from the World Health Organisation to produce their tablet under WHO watch and restriction. Because of this, tablets are cheaper in the country because they are produced in the country.
“Why can we not have a company or two in Nigeria licensed to manufacture (drugs that are imported to Nigeria) and under the watchful eye of WHO and all monitoring agencies to ensure that particular tablets are produced for local use only and at cheap prices?
“We are always at the receiving end of bad government policies. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets are manufactured elsewhere and brought to Nigeria. This is not a good practice for a country as big as Nigeria. The companies manufacturing it come to Nigeria and donate them to us. The truth is that they are paid by WHO or UNICEF to do so.”