Tuesday, May 16, 2017 5:29 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
Access to affordable and qualitative drugs remains a challenge to especially in developing and under developed nations like Nigeria. A paper on the United Nations Secretary General’s high level panel on access to medicines states that lack of political will and poor regulation makes Nigeria a market for substandard and counterfeit drugs. The panel further described access to drugs as one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.
Records abound of unavoidable and untimely deaths, traced to a number of factors including counterfeit or adulterated drugs and lack of access to qualitative medicines because they are either out of reach of the patient in terms of availability and affordability.
The launch of IBEX Eco-pack in Nigeria by Sanofi is seen as a move to ameliorate the plight of many for whom affordable healthcare was out of reach. The introduction of IBEX Ecopack in Nigeria has been described as a move towards ameliorating the challenges of accessibility and affordability of quality drugs, which a lot of Nigerians are confronted with.
The Managing Director of Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana Mr Abderrahmane Chikabi was unequivocal when he stated that the subject of health economics remains a topical issue among stakeholders. Indeed the issue of how to provide sustainable universal health coverage to patients remains a course of concern for stakeholders in the health industry ,amongst whom are government officials, public decision makers, researchers, drug manufacturers etc.
“We want every Nigerian, irrespective of financial strength to be able to treat themselves when these pains come. We know Nigerians are very agile and hardworking people, and there are situations when one is bound to breakdown. That is why we have this product.”
Noting that it contains ibuprofen, paracetamol and caffeine, he said it was not lower in quality than IBEX 24, but wants those who are unable to afford the previous one to partake in the experience of pain killing that Sanofi provides.
Speaking also at the unveiling Dr Philip Ikeme said however that mild pain, which is not associated with any structural organ, could be treated with almost any basic analgesics. “Also, moderate pain has a bit of reaction and structural involvement, hence could be treated with low-end opiods. But for severe pain, you have no choice than to see a doctor,” he added.