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The national drug policy,a failure, burden and hope

pills_2134870bThis week, I have decided to look into the national drug policy, it is my sincere hope that at the end of the week, we will have a better understanding of the place of the pharmacist as regards drugs in Nigeria, from manufacture till it is administered to the patient. Today, we will look at the following






Drug includes any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or advertised for use in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of any disease disorder, abnormal physical state, or the symptoms thereof, in man or in animals; restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in man or in animals; disinfection, or the control of vermin, insects or pests; or contraception;


The goals of the policy shall be 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.


The objectives of the policy are:

i To ensure efficient and effective drug management in the public and private sectors;

ii. To ensure access to safe, effective, affordable and good quality drugs at all levels of health care on the basis of health needs;

iii. To promote the rational use of drugs by prescribers, dispensers and consumers;

iv. To increase local drug manufacture/production and promote export;

v. To ensure that all drugs in the national drug distribution system are safe,efficacious, effective and of good quality;

vi. To strengthen administrative, legislative, and regulatory controls of the importation, manufacture, procurement, storage, distribution, supply, sale and use of drugs;

vii. To promote research on herbal remedies and integrate those found to be safe and efficacious into the health care system;

viii. To promote pharmaceutical research and development of raw materials for the production, compounding and formulation of pharmaceutical products, as well as operational research for the effective implementation of the National Drug Policy; and

ix. To enlist government commitment at all levels for the achievement of the goals and objectives of the National Drug Policy


The implementation of the NDP shall be directed towards accomplishing the following targets:

i. Establishment of a National Drug Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Division in the Food and Drugs Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Health by the year 2005;

ii. Total adherence to the use of the Essential Drugs List in public health institutions by 2008

iii. Production of National Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs) for all levels of the health care system by 2006 and 80% adherence by 2008;

iv. 80% adherence to good drug procurement practices in the public sector by 2008;

v. Entrenchment of a rational and properly structured drug distribution system in the private sector by 2008;

vi. 90% of targeted publication of prices of essential drugs by 2005;

vii. Availability of adequate drug storage conditions in 80% of the public and private health care sectors by 2008;

viii. Proper disposal of expired, deteriorated and sub-standard drugs in 60% of public and private care health facilities by 2008;

ix. Establishment of appropriate storage and quality control laboratories at designated ports of entry and export of drugs by 2005;

x. Establishment of three new, fully equipped and adequately staffed laboratories in strategic locations of the country for more effective quality assurance of drugs and pharmaceutical products in Nigeria by 2005;

xi. Establishment in every public health care delivery institution at the federal, state, and local government levels by the end of 2005, properly operated drug revolving fund schemes with distinct bank accounts, transparent drug procurement procedures and mechanisms to check diversion of the fund for other purposes;

xii. Total compliance with national guidelines on drug donations by 2008;

xiii. Increase in local production capacity to a level where 70% of total output satisfies at least 60% of national drug requirements of essential drugs while the balance is exported by 2008;

xiv.  80% awareness of the concept of rational use of drugs by prescribers, dispensers and consumers by 2006; and 60% adherence by prescribers and dispensers by 2008;

xv. Inclusion of the Rational Use of Drugs Concept and the National Drug Policy Issues in the curricula of all health professional schools and continuing education programmes by 2006;

xvi. 80% adherence to the rational use of narcotics and antimicrobials in the country by 2008;

xvii. Institutionalization of functional Drugs and Therapeutics Committees and drug information centres in 60% of secondary and tertiary health facilities by 2007;

xviii. Publication of a list of all medicines in the Nigerian market in three categories, namely prescriptions only, pharmacy only, and general sale by 2005;

xix. Awareness of appropriate self-medication practices by 40% of the population by 2008.

xx. Establishment, by 2006, of well-equipped national and zonal pharmacovigilance centres and achievement of 40% reporting of adverse drug reactions by 2008;

xxi. Total compliance of all drug promotion and information with national regulations by 2005;

xxii. Annual publication of registered drugs by 2004 and thereafter;

xxiii. Provision of funds to satisfy a minimum of 70% of research needs by 2006;

xxiv. Publication of a Nigerian Pharmacopoeia, incorporating a list of effective herbal medicines by 2005;

xxv. Enactment of a reviewed and harmonised drug legislation in Nigeria by 2006;

xxvi. Commencement of harmonisation of drug laws in the ECOWAS sub-region by 2006;

xxvii. Full integration of the drug management aspects of all Ministry of Health programmes by 2005; and

xxviii. 60% compliance with the use of EVDL, VDF, SVTG in veterinary practice by 2008

All pharmacist should take a good look at nos ii, iii, iv, xxi, xxvi, xvii in the subheading TARGETS OF THE NATIONAL DRUG POLICY, drop your views and we will see tomorrow as we look at the STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE NATIONAL DRUG POLICY have a great week ahead.

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