Headline Health News Nigeria

Group advocates more access to life-saving drugs

HealthCare Foundation in partnership with Civil Society Organisations, have called on big biopharmaceutical companies to stop  profiteering through patent of lifesaving drugs and allow developing countries have access to most effective modern medicines.

 The Country Program Director, AHF Nigeria Dr Echey Ijezie who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja said the foundation, was taking its grass-roots campaign global, to raise awareness on life-saving drugs.

According to Ijezie, the pharmaceutical company had priced several of its HIV and hepatitis C drugs out of reach for many people, by refusing to register some drugs in developing countries.

Director for Advocacy AHF Ms Oluwkemi Gbadamosi, explained that from research, patent life saving drugs are often funded by U.S. government, and decried the astronomical profit made by the big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of people’s lives.

Executive Secretary, Nigeria Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV/AIDS (NINERELA) Ms Amber Erinunwinhe emphasized that lives of people must matter first before profiteering and said the group was standing strong on the advocacy to ensure millions of people have access to affordable lifesaving drugs.

Secretary, Alliance for the survival of COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) Ade Atambi, said health was a fundamental right of citizens, and a social service that must be provided by the government.

A representative from Specialist, Network of people Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWAN)  Micheal Edoh called on the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research to conduct research in producing local vaccines for the citizens.

They demanded an open license for the generic production of HIV and hepatitis C drugs to allow low and middle income countries access to lifesaving drugs.

Reporting by Sarah Gimba, editing by Daniel Adejo