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Ogbonna BO*, Ilika AL and Nwabueze SA


There was high incidence of fake and adulterated drugs in Nigeria which further heightened in the eighties and nineties. The nations drug procurement system, distribution, storage and use is chaotic. The incidence of irrational use of drugs faking, adulteration was at its peak. The maiden National Drug Policy was launched in 1990 and reviewed in 2003. Poor drug selection and high cost of essential drugs abound in addition to the high rate of dependence on foreign products due to moribund pharmaceutical companies producing far below normal capacity. Local drug manufacturers were in the comatose state. High incidence of counterfeiting, faking and adulteration of drugs coupled with increased mortality associated with the sharp practices became very common. This study aimed to know the state of drug manufacturing, supply and use in Nigeria and assess the extent of actualization of the national drug policy in the target areas within the period under review. This review used data and information from published documents and search engines, periodicals and documented interviews with key informants to elucidate the state of Nigeria‟s drug policy in the past three decades. Nigeria drug production is presently at 40% and the sector is worth US$ 3 Billion. Nigeria has 120 pharmaceutical companies accounting for 65% of local manufacture of medicines and health care products in West Africa. However, 70% of her domestic drug consumption is imported. Fake, adulterated and substandard drugs still abound. There is increase in adherence to rational drug use (RDU). Drug distribution is grossly inadequate. However, plans have reached advanced stage towards streamlining the nation‟s drug distribution system. Huge foreign exchange is still being lost to drug importation annually. With an ever growing population and increased need for drugs and pharmaceuticals, policies should be implemented, reviewed and improved to meet the challenges in a very dynamic world. Greater commitment and good political will are critical to improving the outcomes and impact in drug manufacturing, distribution and use in Nigeria. This narrative review may provide a template for knowledge, further studies and interventions in these targeted areas.

Keywords: Drug policy, drug manufacturing, drug distribution, rational drug use, essential drugs, Nigeria.

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