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Nigerian Medical Association sounds alarm over soaring drug prices

Calls on Government for Urgent Action to Address Accessibility of Medical Services

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The Lagos chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has raised concerns about the escalating prices of drugs and medical services in the country. Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu, Chairman of the NMA Lagos State chapter, emphasized the urgent need for the Federal Government to intervene, addressing the growing challenge of citizens’ inability to afford quality medical attention due to the surging costs.

Olowojebutu highlighted the economic issues prevailing in the health sector, particularly the adverse effects on the financial stability of health institutions. This concern arises in the wake of reports detailing the departure of pharmaceutical companies, resulting in a subsequent spike in drug prices nationwide.

In a statement, Olowojebutu called for innovative and collaborative efforts, emphasizing a proactive approach to confronting the economic obstacles faced by the health sector and patients alike. The NMA chairman stressed the necessity for increased investment in the health sector, given the astronomical rise in drug prices, rendering them beyond the reach of ordinary citizens.

“The unaffordability of medical services must be addressed. In an era of expensive healthcare and budget constraints, we must explore sustainable models that ensure both the financial stability of healthcare institutions and the affordability of services for patients,” the statement read.

Olowojebutu urged policymakers to align healthcare investments with broader economic development goals, advocating for collaborative efforts to navigate the current challenges. The chairman underscored the disturbing trend of manufacturing companies, particularly in pharmacological industries, exiting the Nigerian landscape, leading to a significant impact on drug prices and accessibility.

“The aged dynamics of drugs of choice and choice of drugs have been altered by a decline in buying power,” he added, calling for heightened advocacy in the allocation of budgets to health and efficient resource utilization to address the prevailing crisis.

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