The-Minister-of-State-for-Health-and-Social-Welfare-Dr.-Tunji-AlausaThe Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare Dr.-Tunji Alausa

Tinubu losing sleep over drug price surge, says Minister

Dr. Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, has emphasized that President Bola Tinubu is deeply concerned about the escalating prices and scarcity of essential medicines in Nigeria, to the extent that it is affecting his sleep.

The minister highlighted that the president is actively addressing critical issues such as the soaring cost of drugs and the departure of multinational pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline from the country.

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The departure of major players like GlaxoSmithKline has reportedly led to a significant increase in the prices of their products, contributing to a scarcity of essential medicines.

Alausa, speaking after the inauguration of a new clinical complex at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebutte Metta, Lagos, revealed that President Tinubu has instructed the Ministry of Health to explore sustainable solutions to tackle the challenges posed by high drug prices.

Expressing the president’s commitment to building a robust and enduring healthcare system, Alausa acknowledged the difficulty faced by Nigerians but urged patience, assuring that improvements would be realized in the near future.

Addressing the multifaceted nature of the problem, the minister mentioned efforts to combat counterfeiting by collaborating with agencies like NAFDAC and Customs.

He also disclosed ongoing discussions with local pharmaceutical companies to enhance production, persuade those considering leaving the market to stay, and promote various forms of integration to encourage local manufacturing.

Highlighting the government’s strategy, Alausa disclosed plans to establish six medical industries across the six geopolitical zones, Pointing out a focus on a durable and sustainable solution rather than a mere patchwork approach.

He revealed that negotiations with governors, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, have already secured land commitments for these medical industrial parks.

In addition, the minister shared positive developments in nursing education, stating that by the end of the year, the country aims to produce over 120,000 nurses.

This represents a significant increase from the previous enrollment rates, demonstrating the government’s commitment to addressing healthcare workforce needs.

The urgency of the situation was underscored by a plea from Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress in Osun, who called on President Tinubu to intervene promptly in the face of soaring drug prices.

Oyintiloye attributed the high prices to factors such as the withdrawal of major pharmaceutical companies like GSK and the impact of inflation on the devaluation of the naira.


Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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