… To reduce cost of Cancer drugs by 50%
5By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
As Nigeria commemorates the 2024 World Cancer Day, the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa has said that the government has commenced a Cancer Fund for indigent patients and also ready to establish six cancer centers of excellence across the six-geopolitical zone in the country.
Alausa who disclosed this at the Commemoration of the 2024 World Cancer Day in Abuja said that this is part of government’s efforts in reducing the burden of cancer in the country.
The minister said , ” Government has also provided a clear governance structure for the Cancer Fund for indigent Nigerians , as it would now be domiciled at National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment ,NICRAT, for effective disbursement to the indigent patients while the Ministry continues to provide oversight.”
He also revealed that the six cancer centers to be established in the country, would be manned by trained Nigerian biomedical engineers for the maintenance of the cancer equipment as part of procurement agreement and technology transfer.
“Government has concluded plans to start a new cancer centre in each of the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria adding that the Ministry has facilitated seamless but procedural access to the fund and eliminated unnecessary associated bottlenecks”, he further stated.
Meanwhile, the minister of state for health also disclosed that the Federal Government is collaborating with some pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of cancer medicines by 50%.
He said,” in an effort to combat the scourge of cancer, the Ministry is collaborating with various pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs to ensure that some pharmaceutical companies such as Roche, Pfizer and a host of others provide access to cancer medicines at about 50 percent cost reduction.”
According to him, this collaboration with pharmaceutical companies is aimed at improving access to Cancer prevention, diagnosis and palliative care.
He said, “We are reviewing our pharmaceutical laws and regulations to encourage local reproduction by focusing on the pharmaceutical value chain, creating a very robust relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and other relevant stakeholders in the Nigeria Cancer Ecosystem.”
To commemorate the Cancer Day in Nigeria, Dr. Alausa spoke on the Special insights from the Nigeria’s Healthcare Sector and the Renewed Hope Agenda, with the theme , “Economy, Taxation and Cancer Control: The Exit of Pharmaceutical Companies from Nigeria.