The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy has called for the retention of medicines on the Exclusive List, advising that it would be counter-productive and exceedingly damaging to Nigeria if they were moved to the Concurrent List as was being advocated by some.
The academy stated this at a special reception in honour of two distinguished fellows of the Academy, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and Prof. Chinedum Babalola, Vice-Chancellor, Chrisland University, for their outstanding achievements in the public service.
The President of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, noted, “Medicines are currently on the Exclusive List (item 21 of part 1 of the second schedule of the 1999 Constitution) and there appeared to be an ill-advised move to remove it from this list to the Concurrent List.
“The academy strongly advised that the health needs of Nigerians be best served by retaining medicines on the Exclusive List. This was particularly critical, if we are to avert the chaos of drug distribution across Nigeria and the nightmare this poses for regulatory control.”
Adelusi-Adeluyi also bemoaned the current situation of drug misuse and abuse in the country and warned that Nigeria had clearly transited from being a mere courier country to one in which young people now actively abuse drugs and hard substances.
He added that this was another strong imperative for aggressive regulatory control backed by legislation to control the availability of drugs and other controlled substances across the country.
Congratulating the NAFDAC DG on her appointment, following her investiture as a Fellow of the Academy in September 2017, Adelusi-Adeluyi called on the government at different levels to help provide support, to enable NAFDAC deliver impeccably on its mandate.
“Research and academic excellence are also the major pillars of this academy and we are elated by the recent appointment of yet another Fellow of the Academy to the position of the VC of Chrisland University,” he added.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, expressed confidence that the regulator would not let the academy and the country down.
She noted that NADFAC’s mandate was to safeguard the health of the country by ensuring that wholesome food, drugs and water are readily available to consumers.
She said it would ensure quality standards and prevent fake and substandard medical products from entering the country, and ensure that illicit drugs do not get to children.
She said, “Curtailing drug abuse is everyone’s responsibility. However, one essential measure in preventing abuse is making sure that access is cut off at the points of entry, which is what we have been striving to do in spite of all the barriers.
Adeyeye stated, “Medicines are currently on the exclusive list and cannot be allowed to be moved to the concurrent list. You cannot give 36 states independence over control of drugs, as this will cause a repeat of what happened in India where they currently have drug problems.
“We have intercepted many containers of illegal substances. There must also be a communal approach to tackling the issue by propagating the right message that illicit drugs could damage the brain and ruin lives. Community and religious leaders must drive and champion this cause of fighting substance abuse.”
The event had the Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Prof. Olusola Adeyeye, among others in attendance.