“Drugs For Terminally Ill Patients Out Of Their Reach Due To New Naira Policy”

Against the backdrop of high mortality rate among people suffering from various terminal ailments occasioned mainly by their inability to afford drugs needed for their sustenance, the federal  government has been urged to slightly tinker with its monetary policy of allowing the naira to float freely against major currencies of the world, particularly the dollar.

Chief Chika Okorie, Chairman of the Medicine Dealers of Ariaria International Market Aba, who made the call in an exclusive interactive session with NewsCritic online Thursday December 28, 2023 said that the review has become imperative, in the face of the growing difficulties being faced by those who depend on daily intake of specialized drugs, to remain alive in affording their drugs.

According to him, most of the drugs have since the floating of the Naira gone out of the reach of majority of terminally ill patients, a development which has led to a very high mortality rate amongst them.

“The fact of the matter is that right now, due to the removal of the fuel subsidy and the resultant floating of the Naira, the costs of these drugs have risen by at least over 500%, making it extremely difficult for those whose sustenance is dependent on regular consumption of drugs to succumb to death.

These sets of people depend on these drugs, just like human beings depend on food to live. Some of the drugs that were being sold for between N3000 and N4000 per pack before are currently going for between N25,000 and N30,000.

I’m talking from first-hand experience. Most of the people who used to come and buy these drugs to remain alive have stopped coming, because they can no longer afford them. And when they can no longer afford what helps to keep them alive through the help of God, one will only imagine what will happen to them sooner than later,” Chief Okorie noted. 

The leader of the medicine dealers, said as a veritable panacea, the federal government can mull the granting of weaver, and or other conceivable concessions to those within the drugs manufacturing and distribution chains with a view to making prices of the drugs affordable to those who desperately need them.

Chief Okorie regretted that the situation has been worsened by the mass exodus of many drug manufacturing and distribution establishments from the country owing to unfriendly operating environment. 

“Already such globally acknowledged pharmaceutical giants like Glazo/Smith, Procter & Gamble and others have exited and or about to leave the country.

Their exit no doubt will worsen unemployment problem, retard the growth of the economy, and lead to the escalation of other consequential problems.

The government can adjust the policy to hurt the spate of avoidable deaths being currently recorded among those suffering from terminal health challenges,” chief Okorie stated.

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