…paracetamol N40 to N150; augmentin N4,000 to N26,000.
According to a recent survey, President Bola Tinubu’s economic woes have caused Nigerians to endure continuous price increases for medications treating basic ailments like malaria.
In its “Paying The Price on Health” survey, SBM Intelligence compared the cost of pharmaceuticals in 2019 to their November 20, 2023, prices.
In August 2023, the multinational pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, based in the United Kingdom, stated that it would be ending its 51-year presence in the country due to adverse economic conditions. Another multinational pharmaceutical company that made polio vaccinations, Sanofi, also announced last month that it was closing its operations in Nigeria.
In the area of pain relievers, Brustan 400mg, which was retailing for N200 in 2019, is now available for N300. In 2019, Cataflam 50mg was offered for just N700; today, it costs N1,300. According to SBM, the price of Athrotec has increased from N1,100 in 2019 to N1,800. The report is scheduled for release on Tuesday.
The most significant price fluctuations were seen in basic analgesics such as paracetamol 500mg, which was only N40 in 2019 but now costs N150. Novalgin, which was N70 in 2019, now costs N150 at pharmacies.
According to SBM’s survey, the price of Beecham Ampiclox CAPS 500mg, which was sold nationwide for N750 in 2019, has increased to N9,000 in the antibiotics category. What was formerly N4,000 for Augmentin 625 mg in 2019 is now N26,000; TAB Zinnat 50 mg was once N2,800 and is now N13,000; and TAB Ciprotab 500 mg was once N1,500 in 2019 but is now N2,800 in 2023.
According to the SBM results, procold, a common cold medication, used to sell for N70 but is currently selling for N250.
In addition, the price of Amoxil 500 mg increased from N1,000 to N8,350 in 2019; the price of CAPS Zithromax 250 mg, which was N2,500 in 2019, is now N7,200; the price of Doxycap, which was N300 in 2019, is now N850; the price of Cipro-TAB, which was N2,000 in 2019, is now N3,850; the price of Levoxin 500 mg, which was N1,150 in 2019, is now N2,300; and the price of Orelox 200 mg, which was N2,200 in 2019, is now N9,500.
In conclusion, the data for the antimalarials category showed that Lonart DS was once sold for N1,300 in 2019 but is now sold for N2,500; Amatem 80/480 was once sold for N1,200 in 2019 but is now sold for N2,200; Loqma QS was once sold for N850 but is now sold for N1,100; P-Alaxin TS was once sold for N900 but is now sold for N1,400; and coartem 80/40, which was sold for N1,600 in 2019, is now for N3,000.
A request for comments regarding the SBM report and the general government strategy to curb rising prescription prices was not answered by a spokesman for the federal ministry of health.
According to SBM, the producers have chosen to distribute their goods through third parties in Nigeria. But as a result of their actions, the prices of these goods, which are now being imported into the nation, would rise.
The cost of importation into the nation, currency rates, and the value of the naira relative to the dollar are some of the factors that ultimately determine the prices of the products, when they are available at all. This could make it more difficult for patients to obtain or afford the medication because the prices are either too high or too rare.
Boladele Silva, a professor of pharmaceuticals at the University of Lagos, was described by SBM as explaining why drug prices are always rising by pointing out that the nation’s pharmaceutical sector is very vulnerable to shocks from fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.
Nigeria is home to hubs for packaging. Most of the excipients that manufacturers utilise, as well as the active medicinal components, are imported. They are therefore quite susceptible to economic shocks,” he stated.
According to anecdotal evidence, he continued, the growing expense of medications in Nigeria “is forcing patients to skip doses or forget treatment altogether.”
SB Morgan issued a warning, stating that the situation may “enhance chronic conditions, increasing morbidity and mortality,” as well as “lead to the development of drug resistance, making it more difficult to treat infections.”