By Iyemah David
The Director-General of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr Obi Adigwe, has disclosed that about 40 countries have been patronising its local medicine developed by NIPRD for Sickle Cell Anaemia.
Adigwe disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja, when Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, Coordinator, African Health Budget Network (AHBN), paid a collaborative, advocacy and tour of Laboratories visit to NIPRD.
He said that Niprovax is one of the world’s most renowned phytomedicines for sickle cell anaemia.
“NIPRISAN is a drug developed by the NIPRID for the management of sickle cell disorders. Sickle Cell is a disease that plagues only black people, and one out of every five blacks you meet are Nigerians.
“NIPRD has the international reputation to have developed this product that is used in over 40 countries, and should be supported,” he said.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari has supported NIPRD to champion the eradication of sickle cell disease by contributing conceptual innovations to mitigate the devastating effects of the disorder across the sub-Sahara African region.
“The NIPRD team of experts placed special focus on efficient and sustainable utilisation of local resources for self-reliance in pharmaceutical products and services.
“The outcome of this was the breakthrough with NIPRISAN.
“NIPRISAN is an anti-sickling medicine extracted from four local herbs in Nigeria which were found to be efficacious in the management of the disease.
“NIPRISAN, now called NICLOVIX. The production of NICLOVIX by manufacturers in the country has substantially increased access to the drug for people with SCD within and outside the expanse of the country,” He said.
He said that NIPRD is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), with a mandate to engage in activities that promote capacity building, policy-making, data collation, drug distribution and development of contextual partnerships that can expedite access to health care.
While highlighting some of the milestones recorded by NIPRD, Adigwe said the Institute has continued to set the pace for responsive innovativeness in the nation’s research.
He said that the agency is developing cutting edge interventions that would dominate the African landscape over the next two decades.
Earlier, Dr Magashi commended the agency, for its tremendous efforts at ensuring innovative research and development of phytomedicines, drugs, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and biological products, from indigenous herbs in the country.
“I am impressed by the achievements of the agency in meeting her objectives and in ensuring the provision of responsive solutions to the health of Nigerians,” he said.
He mentioned that he was at the agency to discuss strategically how to support its mandate on local vaccine manufacturing and to Identify the bottlenecks in research development and production in the country.
The AHBN boss stated that the meeting is to define the short, medium, and long-term strategies to boost local vaccine production in the country.
He highlighted engagement for more partnerships and biotechnological developers to liaise with the agency.
Health Reporters recalls that though Nigeria has not got to the peak in terms of sickle cell disease management, it is no longer where it used to be following the development of NIPRISAN.