Expert calls for policy review to ease herbal drugs registration
An expert, Joseph Okogun, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Ibadan and chairman, BEVEKT GEDU chemical company has called on concerned regulators to review set down policies and procedures that cause bottlenecks to the registration of local and herbal drugs in Nigeria.
Speaking during his BEVEKT GEDU chemical company public lecture in Lagos, Okogun said the regulators should look at the basis on which the policies have been formulated and following the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, the listing or registration of the drugs should be fast tracked.
“People are still complaining of bottle necks which are created. Nigerians should find a way to be more interested in the common good, so that when people in such offices see that the products have followed the proper guidelines to the formulation and they have checked the toxicity, they should fast track it and not put bottle necks,” he said.
He explained that if the country keep using the standards that keep appreciating in the advanced world, we may never get anything registered because these standards are based on facilities that are not here or don’t work here.
He expressed concerns that Nigeria uses foreign guidelines which help the western industries but kill our developments here.
On the acceptance of local drugs in Nigeria, Okogun said “The pharmacist in Nigeria and western trained pharmacists are beginning to accept local drugs. They see the advantages but the tough defence of the professionals is a problem. Our orthodox doctors are trained on regulations, cultures and practices that are foreign. They do not feel at home with formulations like this where the pure substance and mechanisms of action are not known.
“All we are asking them to do is to corporate and do clinical trials and hopefully government will fund them and they can study the mechanism of action. We have isolated and known some of the pure active ingredients and the toxicity in the ones we make. We have collaborated with facilities abroad to do this,” the professor added.
Erabor Okogun, the fourth child of Joseph Okogun and a director at BEVEKT GEDU told BusinessDay that over time, his father has produced people with PHDs and taught similar professors who have become heads of departments, Deans, vice chancellors, captains of industry and who have taken his ideals as an educationist and used it to guide their own lives.
He explained that beyond just the academics, he has also discovered many new products and chemicals from herbal products, which are being exploited around the world.
“As an academician the purpose of academics is to spread knowledge and he has published in the top most journals and over 130 of these publications have spurred developments, products and created new businesses outside the country.
“During the Human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV) outreach programme, Joseph Okogun gave some of his discoveries to some HIV patients and it has boosted their immunity and they can live more healthy lives.
“Some of his products have gone through rigorous tests by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and are now listed by the agency and many pharmacists are getting the products and people are getting healthier,” he added.
Big Read |