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Nigeria’s Healthcare Crisis: Drug prices soar after GSK, Sanofi exit

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Nigeria’s Healthcare Crisis: Drug prices soar after GSK, Sanofi exit

Nigeria’s healthcare system is facing a crisis as the cost of essential drugs continues to skyrocket following the departure of foreign pharmaceutical companies.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British healthcare and multinational biotech firm, recently left Nigeria after 51 years of operations, leading to a significant increase in drug prices.

Life-saving medicines such as sleeping pills, Ventolin inhalers, and Seretide inhalers have seen price hikes of up to 1,000% with Augmentin hiking up to 24,000 Naira from 3,500 Naira, Ventolin inhaler increasing from 1,700 Naira to 18,000 Naira and Seretide inhaler from 8000 Naira to 50,000 Naira.

In a similar move, Sanofi-Aventi Nigeria, a leading French pharmaceutical company, decided to close its direct operations in Nigeria.

The departure of these companies has left a void that has been filled by local companies, but they are unable to match the pricing strategies of their foreign counterparts.

Equinor Nigeria Energy Company (ENEC) has also agreed to sell its 53.85% ownership in the oil and gas lease OML 128, including its 20.21% stake in the Agbami oil field, operated by Chevron, to a Nigerian-owned company, Chappal Energies. The sale is subject to regulatory approval.

READ ALSO: Panadol manufacturer GSK to exit Nigeria after 51 years of operations

Nina Koch, Equinor’s senior vice president for Africa Operations, said Nigeria has been an important part of Equinor’s international portfolio over the past 30 years.

She clarified, however, that the company’s choice is consistent with Equinor’s objective to optimise its global oil and gas portfolio and concentrate on its core competencies.

The buyer, Chappal Energies, is a dedicated energy firm owned by Nigerians with plans to expand the assets further and support the Nigerian economy for many years.

Ufoma Immanuel, Managing Director of Chappal Energies, expressed confidence in the company’s ability to make a lasting impact and is committed to fostering sustainable growth and contributing to Nigeria’s economic prosperity now and in the future.

To maintain good health, it is recommended to sleep early, quit smoking, avoid alcohol, drink plenty of water, eat lots of fruits, exercise regularly, and avoid drinking too much soda.

As the economy continues to struggle, healthcare costs are also affected, making it crucial for individuals to prioritize preventive measures and take care of their health.

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