The Federal Government has tasked the Institute of Chartered Chemists Of Nigeria (ICCON) on research in herbal medicine in order to help the country harness the prospects its biodiversity portends for drug development.
According to the federal government, recent indices for the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector suggest poor performance as it is only able to satisfies 25 percent of the local demand for drugs.
The Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, stated this in Abuja at a professional development workshop organised by ICCON in Abuja, weekend.
She said, “More efforts must be put into research in the herbal medicine sector in Nigeria to harness the enormous potentials inherent in developing new drug moieties.
“The potential cures of the future could be in our backyards and in our forests. The herbal remedies passed down by our forefathers have a role to play and we have a responsibility to encourage the research & development of such remedies.”
Adeyeye also said reports of research efforts in natural products at the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) reveal the institute has successfully developed six traditional herbal products for the treatment and management of Ebola, malaria, sickle cell anaemia and other diseases.
She, therefore, expressed the Federal Government’s resolve to encourage drug development by ensuring adequate regulations are in place to promote quality, safety and efficacy of local medicines.
On his part, the Registrar of ICCON, Mr. Iwalshik Wilford, noted that the relationship between chemistry and pharmacy as a synergy for drug discovery and development is not adequately harnessed in Nigeria.
To address the gap, he said his Institute will soon commence the construction of a world-class research and development centre in the nations capital.