From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin
A Professor at the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ilorin, Prof. Emmanuel Obi Okoro has found out in his research that high locally sourced drugs are needed to treat hypertension patients in Nigeria.
In his recent research, Okoro observed that in the absence of evidence of health benefits, universal aspirin and statins prescriptions not only escalate treatment cost but can result in fatalities.
The University don, who disclosed this while delivering the 143rd inaugural lecture in Unilorin titled “Towards better prevention\control of hypertension and diabetes”, said there was need for mutual financial collaboration between scholars and experts on the diseases.
“However, such partnership can become problematic if treatment guidelines evolve from a joint panel of scholars- Professionals and MAHs whose products are involved, because of conflicts of interest.
“It is even worse if financial sponsorship of the process is by the same commercial entities and key drug treatment recommended are inconsistent with the evidence of what works best for Nigerians with hypertension\type 2 diabetes”.
He noted that when doctors prescription decisions are influenced in such powerful ways by ‘opinion leaders, experts, as inadvertently endorsed by Health Authorities probably on face value, “this can undermine the delivery of effective health care that represent the best value for -money based on evidence”.
He advised federal government and experts to utilise the opportunity available in Nigeria University which has rich tradition of high quality scholarship dedicated in finding home grown solutions for superior health care services.