In a significant step towards mitigating the perpetual issue of drug unavailability in the country’s health facilities, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pharmaceutical Companies and Drugs Management Organisations (DMOs) to facilitate the production of 33 essential drugs.
This was disclosed by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye during a joint press conference with the NHIA on Thursday.
Twelve pharmaceutical companies are set to brand these products for integration into the health insurance ecosystem, marking the initial phase of the initiative.
The NHIA has chosen seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the pilot phase: Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Niger, Osun, and Sokoto.
The drive also emphasizes bolstering local pharmaceutical manufacturers, ensuring medicines’ security and combatting substandard and counterfeit medical products.
The categories of drugs produced will encompass a range of complexities, addressing prevalent health conditions in Nigeria, including malaria, respiratory tract infections, childhood illnesses, and drugs for pregnant women.
Every drug manufactured will undergo rigorous certification and approval by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to guarantee quality, safety, and efficacy.
The medicines will be subject to testing in the WHO-Prequalified NAFDAC Laboratory.
Additionally, NAFDAC will engage in post-marketing surveillance to ascertain that these branded medicines are utilized exclusively in the nation’s healthcare facilities and not available for general sale.
The branding of NHIA medicines and other health products is a proactive measure to eliminate drug stockouts and ensure the quality of medicines.
These 33 drugs will bear the NHIA inscription under the National Health Insurance Authority, adhering to NAFDAC guidelines for appropriate and adequate labeling.
Continuing collaboration between NAFDAC and NHIA, in accordance with Executive Order 3(EO3), will contribute to achieving Universal Health Coverage in alignment with the National Drug Policy’s objectives.”