The Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe has said that the institute is presently in discussion with the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on how to collaborate in sourcing by-product of the refineries to produce drugs locally.
He also disclosed that one of the institute’s most popular pharmaceutical products, NPRISAN is now at advanced stages of commercialization, adding that a recent audit conducted by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the product has shown a favourable response.
Niprisan is an herbal medicine for sickle cell anaemia developed in the NIPRD.
Adigwe further disclosed that there are about five other products developed by NIPRD which are on the verge of commercialization, while about 22 others are at various stages of development.
On collaboration with the NNPC, the DG said NIPRD has initiated a comprehensive strategy on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients manufacturing projects.
“What we are discussing with the NNPC is that for instance, where you have comparative advantage, which products are coming out of our refineries. One of the staff of the NNPC working at the refineries has mentioned Paraffin as one the output from their refineries. For us that is already a low-hanging fruit for NIPRD. Our strategy is to start with products that are easily accessible to our petro- chemical industry and products that we have considerable consumption locally”.
The NIPRD D-G said the institute has embarked on Contextual Processing Protocols (CPP) projects for harnessing phytomedinal potential of natural resources in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He said that NIPRD has adopted Aflatoxin Infestation control strategy for health improvement as well as catalyst for local production of ready-use therapeutic foods and export of Nigerian products.
According to Adigwe, the organization has also developed a comprehensive study protocol on national drug distribution and supply chain in order to address menace of drug abuse in the country.
Among the new initiatives introduced by the management team at NIPRD in the past 16 months, were the development of an intensive backward integration plan to stimulate local production of excipients such as starch and cellulose.