The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, recently disclosed that the Ministry was working on the integration of traditional medicine practice into medical school curriculum in Nigerian Universities.
He said the ministry was taking drastic steps to regulate the use of Codeine syrup, stressing that it would henceforth be treated as a narcotic that should not be sold over the counter, following the rise in the abuse of the drug, especially in the northern part of the country.
Prof. Chukwu said this when the new executive and board of fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) paid him a courtesy visit.
Chukwu, however, hinged the veiled official recognition of herbal medicine on the need for practitioners to go to medical school to equip themselves with the requisite expert knowledge, promising a level playing field to all stakeholders in the health sector.
He advised that their drugs should be registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and packaged for export to earn money for the country emphasizing that the Federal Government is committed to the development of pharmacy in the country and had created an enabling environment for local pharmaceutical industries to thrive.
“We are in the process of inaugurating a National Drug Advisory Team and launching National Drug Distribution Guidelines on February 7, 2013,” he said.
President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mr. Olumide Akintayo, commended the Federal Government for initiating a drug distribution guideline for the country.
He however called for the reconstitution of the board of the society to enable it perform its statutory responsibilities and the representation of pharmacists on the boards of federal health institutions.