Drug Scarcity Looms In Nigeria As India Suspends Export

Nigeria may experience drug shortage as India has suspended the exportation of drugs to the country and others around the world. A fortnight ago, the Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Mojisola Adeyeye, had said Nigeria risks drug shortage as 70 percent of its drugs were imported from other countries.

She had said India was already feeling the drug insecurity because it bought most of its materials and active ingredients from China. “If India is feeling it, we should start praying, because we don’t manufacture anything here except water; we import almost everything – active and non-active ingredients, equipment etc. So it is a scary thing, and I have been emphasizing this from day one. We need drug security. Since we import 70 percent of our drugs, then, we are in trouble if such things happen”, she had said.

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The government of India, the world’s biggest supplier of generic drugs, in a circular yesterday by the Director General, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Amit Yadav, limited the exportation of essential drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients because of the coronavirus disease outbreak.

The ban is to ensure home supply as experts warn that the country may face drug shortage if the COVID-19 outbreak continues. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has reportedly warned that banknotes could aid the transmission of the infectious disease, advising people to go cashless in transactions.

A WHO spokesman was quoted thus: “To stop the spread of the disease, people should use contactless payments where possible and wash their hands after handling cash. “We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses.”

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