By Okezie Nnadi
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has called on the pharmaceutical manufacturers to strengthen the industry through the development, adoption standardisation for the nation’s economy growth
Director-General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, made this call during his public lecture at Igbenedion University, Okada, Edo State with the theme: “The Impact of Standards on the Practice of the Pharmacy Profession” recently.
The SON DG reiterated that standards is very critical to the survival of the civil society, adding that standards was particularly more crucial in the pharmaceutical sector as pharmaceutical practice has zero tolerance for error.
“Standards enhances investment in trade and Africa healthcare industry as enshrined in the African Free Continental Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“SON has explored the existing international regional and national standards to meet up with the unique challenges facing the African trade including the pharmaceutical.
“SON as a member of African Organisation for Standardization (ARSO) is spearheading and actively involved in the harmonisation of a number of African pharmaceutical standards.
“This includes ARSO/TC 78 for medical devices and equipment, TC 80 on pharmaceutical and medical products and TC 82 on African Traditional Medicine.
“In line with the World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 aimed at building the knowledge base and formulating national policies, SON in collaboration with the ARSO has developed over 10 standards on African Traditional Medicine for use in Nigeria,” he said.
Salim stated that the objective of the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Industry to provide 60 per cent of pharmaceutical products consumed by West African countries was largely dependent on regulatory requirements, required by their marketing authorisation.
“In order to effectively deliver on its mandate and promote the required standards to ensure the safety of goods and services in the country and conformity with international requirements for trade, SON follows a well planned procedure for establishing standards.
“Standards are also applied in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the strength of the active ingredient quality and purity of drugs and other pharmaceutical products.
“It ensures safe and effective products for patients and form basis for the regulatory requirements for industrial practice which ensures quality in the entire chain of drug production to its distribution,” he said.
Promising that SON was always ready to support the pharmaceutical industry with relevant standards, information on international best practices aimed at overcoming technical barriers to trade.
He also reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to collaborate with relevant authorities such as National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others for the approval of more traditional medicine standards.
Also speaking, Prof Lawrence Ezemonye, Vice Chancellor, Igbenedion University, noted that pharmacy profession played a vital role in delivering care and helping people maintain, improve their health, safety and wellbeing.
Ezemonye said that the profession could improve the quality of care they provide through adherence to standards for education and training, registration to practice, code of conduct, amongst others.
The VC disclosed that the university had recently received accreditation for Bachelor of Pharmacy degree programme by both Pharmacist Council of Nigeria and the National Universities Commission with the first set of admission in 2022/2023 session.
“lt is instructive that this event signposts our commitment to scholastic engagement and community service aimed at strengthening our relationship with society through the mechanism of “Town and Gown”.
“This is in tandem with the remit of
universities as centres of excellence for knowledge production. Recently, the college has taken giant strides towards maintaining high standards in teaching, research and development.
In his words,
“We have continued to escalate our internationalization drive involving research and collaboration and organisation of conferences, workshop, with foreign institution and bodies. The results have been cheering with positive impacts on teaching, learning and research output while enhancing the university’s visibility,” he said.
According to Prof Ighodaro Igbe, Dean, College of Pharmacy, the idea of a public lecture became imperative, first as an integral part of the college’s academic tradition to generate discourses around pertinent issues in Nigeria today.
“Secondly, it is an opportunity for universities to engage with government. business and the public to inform and educate the community through leading open discussion of issues that confront our nation, our region and the world.
“It is against this backdrop that the topic for today’s lecture was carefully crafted to capture the concerns of stakeholders.
“The Professional Practice Standards (PPS) is intended to provide guidance on the expected standards of professional behaviour of pharmacists towards individuals, the community and society,” he stressed.