Members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Oyo State Branch, have said unless the Federal Government lowers the exchange rate of the naira for the importation of drugs into the country, the majority of the people may soon be unable to afford the cost of the drugs.
The Chairman of the PSN, Adeyinka Isola, said the association at the national level had met with the Federal Government over the high cost of drugs caused by the high exchange rate, saying it had yet to receive a response on this from the government.
Isola said, “Safety of lives must come first in any government policy. When we cannot take good care of the sick, there is a problem.
“We are meeting with the government over the exchange rate issue and we are hopeful that concession will be granted to us so that those who import these drugs will be able to bring them in at a reduced cost.
“We plead with the Federal Government to lower the exchange rate of the naira for these importers in order to provide succour for those who are sick, especially in this time of recession.
“Many of these drugs are out of stock already and importers are finding it difficult to bring them to Nigeria. The health care of our teeming populace is very important.”
Isola also raised the alarm over a new robbery trend in the state that made drug stores the targets, warning that many of the drugs carted away during these attacks could be injurious to users.
He added, “We are part of the society and we are not immune to the situation that the country is facing. It is a menace but those who are doing this are simply harming themselves because they are stealing drugs that have been purchased for certain purposes, which they may not know.
“Drugs are not articles of trade but professional entities.
“Robbery attacks on drug stores are new, which shows how serious the situation is in the country.
“Effort is being made by the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, Oyo State Branch, to deal with the situation but as an association, we call on the police to help check this menace by protecting our industry and professionals in it.
“It is unfortunate that special drugs that could hurt users, who don’t have their prescription, are being stolen.”