FG launches maiden edition of vaccine policy, third national drug policy

The Federal Government has launched the very first edition of the Nigeria Vaccine Policy and the third edition of the National Drug Policy.

The first edition of the National Drug Policy was launched in 1990 while the second edition was launched in 2005.

However, many of the expectations of the past two editions were unrealized due mainly to the lack of political will by past governments and the absence of a well-structured monitoring system.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in his speech at the launch on Thursday said the revised edition hopefully has taken care of those identified lapses as the launch of this edition is against the backdrop of the overall Health Sector Reform (HSR) Programme of the ministry.

Ehanire noted that no matter how vibrant a health policy is, such policy will be sterile without the availability of good quality and affordable medicine.

Ehanire also disclosed that fortunately, the Federal Government of Nigeria has been paying special attention to the pharmaceutical subsector.

“The Presidential Forum on the Pharmaceutical Sector held in November 2003 underscored this special focus. Since that event, the government has taken a number of pragmatic steps towards boosting the local capacity for the manufacturing of essential medicines.

“This is to ensure that the local pharmaceutical industry becomes a major actor in providing good quality essential medicines for our health care programmes.

“The 2005 Fiscal Policy is the most favourable ever, as far as the pharmaceutical sector is concerned. It provides very attractive incentives both to the existing players and prospective investors in the production of life-saving essential medicine.

“It is my earnest hope that the launch of the third edition of the National Drug Policy will further increase the vibrancy of the pharmaceutical sector for the overall improvement of people’s health”.

“The goals of the National Drug Policy is to make available, at all times to the Nigerian populace, adequate supplies of drugs that are effective, affordable, safe and of good quality; to ensure the rational use of such drugs, and to stimulate increased local production of essential drugs.”

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