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11 May 2020

COVID-19: Extend import waiver to all essential drugs, Pharmacists beg FG

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Sunday appealed to the Federal Government to extend the recent import waiver on medical supplies by President Mohammadu Buhari to all essential drugs and not only those related to COVID-19.

Stating this in Lagos, the President of the PSN, Pharm. Sam Ohuabunwa said the extension of the waiver to all essential drugs was necessary since there is no establish treatment protocol all over the world for the novel coronavirus. Stating that clinicians have continued to employ combinations of different drug regimen to treat the manifested symptoms, Ohuabunwa maintained that the extension should be effected to all as most of the repurposed medications are already in use by other patients leading to pressure on the supply chain thereby instigating price increase.

“Nigerians who are on lockdown have reduced disposable income to buy medicines. Government is giving food palliative but no medicine palliative. Removing duties and levies on all essential medicines will be one way to provide medical palliative for the Nigerian poor.
“Finally, the most vulnerable for COVID-19 infection, the aged population, already have some underlying chronic diseases and are on essential medicines like antidiabetics, antihypertensives and anticancer medications.”

He added that with the blow of the COVID-19 on the world’s economy, Nigerians would find it difficult to maintain optimal health if the entire cost of medication is unleashed on them.
The PSN president commended President Buhari for the timely interventions and implored him to ensure strict implementation of the order, adding that PSN would not hesitate to point the way to other low hanging fruits towards the realisation of world best practises in pharmaceutical care.


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