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Thursday, 22 February 2024 14:03

Tinubu To Sign Executive Orders To Bring Down Costs Of Medicines

In an imminent move to alleviate the cost burden of pharmaceuticals on Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu is set to sign executive orders aimed at reducing the prices of essential medicines.

The announcement was made by the Minister of State for Health, Tunji Alausa and communicated through a post on X by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga on Wednesday.

This strategic decision comes as a response to the soaring prices of pharmaceutical products, which have increasingly become a concern for many Nigerians.

According to Minister Alausa, the executive orders are expected to provide “immediate succour” to citizens, addressing the urgent need for affordable healthcare products in the country.

The move to regulate pharmaceutical prices through executive orders was underscored a month prior by the Minister of Health, Ali Pate.

He highlighted the necessity of such measures following the withdrawal of major multinational pharmaceutical companies from the Nigerian market.

This departure has exacerbated the challenge of accessing reasonably priced medicines, making the government’s intervention critical.

The minister said, “On what the government is doing regarding the high cost of pharmaceuticals, Mr. President has asked us to come up with a set of Executive Orders that he is going to sign to provide immediate succour to Nigerians about the high cost of pharmaceuticals.

“And these executive orders will get to the President’s table in the next few days. And that is the short-term solution to bringing down the cost of high pharmaceuticals and medical consumables that the citizens are experiencing currently.

“We are also working on medium-term solutions and long-term solutions.

“For us at the ministry of health, we are collaborating with the ministry of industry, trade and investment, and others to develop medium and long-term plans so that the situation we suddenly find ourselves in will not be here ever again.

“This cost of high pharmaceuticals that we are noticing now is due to inadequate planning in the past, but we are working on plans and solutions that will be durable and sustainable.”

Alausa added that the president is very committed to getting to the “end of this problem very quickly”.

He added, “As we know, the president made a lot of campaign promises to revamp, improve, and put the healthcare system of Nigeria on a sustainable pathway.

“As we can see, Mr. President is meeting a significant chunk of his campaign promises, and he is going to meet all of his promises. The healthcare budget for 2024 is the biggest ever that we have had in the history of Nigeria.”

While asking Nigerians to bear with the current administration, the minister assured that the costs of pharmaceuticals will plummet pretty soon.

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