The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 12 pharmaceutical companies as part of its efforts to guarantee medicine security.
Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Director-General of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), made this known in Abuja at the signing of MOU with NHIA Medicines Supply Initiative (NMSI).
Sambo said that the initiative was geared towards the strengthening of local pharmaceutical manufacturers, which would ultimately guarantee medicine security.
“I inaugurated the NMS Committee on February 19, 2020. The committee submitted its report in June 2020.
“I adopted branding of NHIA medicines and other health products as the way to go in order to eradicate out-of-stock syndrome as well as ensuring the quality of its medicines.
“It also recommended the setting up of an implementation committee to bring the initiative to fruition.’’
Sambo said that the initiative of branding NHIA medicines and other health products was to facilitate the supply of affordable, acceptable, accessible, available and quality medicines and other health products.
According to him, the initiative is to enhance the production of high-quality medicines that will inspire the confidence of users.
“In order to bring this initiative to fruition on August 18th, 2020, I inaugurated the Medicines Supply Implementation Committee. The committee had its inaugural meeting on September 22, 2020.’’
Sambo said that seven states were selected which are Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Niger, Osun and Sokoto and the FCT for the pilot phase of implementation of the initiative.
He said that a total of 44 submissions were received from pharmaceutical companies and destination management organisations (DMOs).
“The submissions were scrutinised and synthesised by the selection committee and 20 companies and eight DMOs were selected to provide services for the initiative.
“Negotiations were held with the selected pharmaceutical companies and DMOs. After the negotiations, agreement was reached with 12 pharmaceutical companies and 8 DMOs.
“The 12 pharmaceutical companies will be branding 33 products for the health insurance ecosystem in the first phase,’’ he said.
Sambo said that activity was expected for the production of these products at least in the next one month.
Also speaking, Mr Suresh Nair, Marketing Manager of Sam Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said that the company would give the government all the necessary support and also provide quality drugs.
Nair said that the initiative was very important as they would ensure the accessibility of drugs in the country.