The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Of Nigeria (PMGMAN), has condemned the New Drug Distribution Guideline, NDDG, and Common External Tarrif, CET, stating that they are threats to the survival of the local pharmaceutical industry.
This was disclosed at a world press conference on Friday, July 3, 2015 in Lagos.
The association stated that the implementation of the NDDG which commenced from Wednesday, July 1, 2015 has handed over the pharmaceutical industry to cartels and syndicates and in return, would bring about the increase in the cost of essential medicines in the country.
They also demanded that the implementation of the policies should be deferred and redefined to reasonably accommodate all stakeholders.
Mr Okey Akpan, President of the group, while giving a briefing on the possible implications of the policies, stated that apart from reversing gains made in the fight against fake drugs, and bending locally manufactured drugs into extinction, the NDDG, is to add an additional layer to the current distribution model that will increase the cost by 35 percent.
“The CET places zero-tariff on finished imported medicine while essential raw and packaging materials requireds by the industry for local medicine production attracts five percent to 20 per cent.
“This policy undoubtedly, spells doom for the local industry as imported medicines will become far cheaper than locally produced ones,
“This situation is inimical to the survival of the local pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, and there is a need for urgent review.”
Akpan went further to state that the policy will have a negative impact on the employment capacity utilisation and loss of investment, increase in fake and sub-standard products, skills stagnation, depletion of scarce foreign exchange due to continued dependence on imports and no contribution to GDP growth.
He recommended an import adjustment tax of 20 percent to be imposed immediately on imported finished pharmaceutical products of HS code 3003 and 3004.
However, he appealed that pharmaceutical raw materials should be allowed to be imported at 0 percent by genuine pharmaceutical manufacturers.
In corroboration, Chairman and Managing Director, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Dr. Fedelis Ayabae, recommended that Nigeria should follow the current world trend of diversification and inclusiveness rather than reversing to monopoly which will give rise to cartels and syndicates.
He vehemently condemned a situation where the NDDF will hijack the entire distribution network of drugs in Nigeria.
Speaking also, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Niemeth Pharmaceuticals Plc, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, warned that the implementation of CET as it is now against government’s present policy of industrialisation.
He stated it is utterly nonsense to say people should not pay tarriffs on finished imported products.