Herbal Medicine Research and Development in Nigeria

Patents Law Volume 2 Number 7


(Herbal Medicine Research and Development in Nigeria)

April 14, 2014

Content Sources

  1. The Nigeria Journal of Pharmacy
  2. Geneva Health Forum
  3. Research Journal of Medical Sciences
  4. BMC International Health and Human Rights
  5. International Conference on ICT for Africa 2013

Assessing the Commercialization of Herbal Medicine Research and Development outputs in Nigeria by K. Osemene, M. Ilori, and A. Elujoba | The Nigeria Journal of Pharmacy, 2011

This study examined some of the constraints and factors influencing herbal medicine commercialization in Nigeria, with a view to formulating strategies to enhance their commercialization. In order to determine the extent of herbal medicines commercialization, constraints in commercializing them as well as factors influencing their commercialization, opinion of 100 herbal medicine scientists in 13 universities, 100 herbal medicine scientists in three research institutes, 125 scientists in 50 herbal medicine manufacturing pharmaceutical firms in Nigeria were sort. Data was collected by using questionnaires and oral interviews. Some of the constraints to commercializing herbal medicine included inadequate funding of R&D, inconsistent government policies on funds allocated for research, lack of interest for local R&D results by the industry, poor industry academic linkage, lack of adequate infrastructural facilities, lack of adequate support for SME’s, and apathy of financial institutions such as banks to invest in R&D activities. The study concluded that the commercialization of herbal medicines in Nigeria is low in spite of the large number of herbal medicines already developed by various research bodies.  Read more

Assessing the Impacts of Herbal Medicinal Products Research Outcomes on Health Care Institutions in Nigeria (A Dilemma of Universities Social Responsibility and Public Bureaucracy) by H. Oluyedun | Geneva Health Forum, 2011

This study examined the impacts of herbal medicine products research outcomes on health care institutions and looked at some of the factors hindering or enhancing Universities social responsility. Using a descriptive survey, the study focused on three Federal Universities in Nigeria from three geo-political zones and nine health care institutions three from across the country. Data was collected using structured questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Although the study found that there was collaboration of information between the three Universities and three Teaching Hospitals, administrative bottlenecks did not allow for clinical evaluation of new herbal medicine products. Regulatory oversight by NAFDAC was seen as a stumbling blocks against drug discovery, drug screening, pre-clinical safety, toxicity testing and evaluations. The results from the other six health care institutions showed that a very small percentage (only 5%) testified to availability of herbal medicine products information and products in their institutions. The result also showed that 80% of respondents from health care institutions are not adequately informed on research outcomes. Some of the challenges to effective collaboration included bureaucracy, formalization and inadequate funding. Read more

A Comparative Assessment of Herbal and Orthodox Medicines in Nigeria by K. Osemene, A. Elujoba and M. Ilori | Research Journal of Medical Sciences, 2011

This study assessed some of the attributes of herbal and orthodox medicines, which are often neglected. These include affordability, packaging, availability, efficacy, safety, side-effects and level of advertisement in print and electronic media. Structured questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect information from 300 herbal and orthodox medicine consumers selected from six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The results showed that the respondents rated herbal medicines higher than orthodox medicines in terms of safety and the degree of advertisement but contrary to the widely held view in literature that  more than 80% of the population in developing countries take only herbal medicines, the result showed that only 41% of the respondents took herbal medicines as their first drug of choice. Read more

The Road to Commercialization in Africa: Lessons from Developing the Sickle-cell Drug Niprisan by K. Perampaladas, H. Masum, A. Kapoor, R. Shah, A. S. Daar, P. Singer | BMC International Health and Human Rights, 2010

This study highlights efforts to overcome some of the barriers during the development of the traditional herbal medicine Niprisan – a drug for the treatment of sickle cell anemia, by Nigeria’s National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD). The study looked at both the commercialization of Niprisan including regulatory approval in Nigeria; securing US-based commercial partner XeChem; demonstrating clinical efficacy and safety; being awarded orphan drug status by the US Food and Drug Administration; and striking important relationships with domestic and international groups. The study also looked at some of the reasons why XeChem did not achieve mainstream success for Niprisan in Nigeria or in the United States. Some of these reasons included inconsistent funding, and manufacturing and management challenges. The study stresses the importance of establishing benefit-sharing agreements, country-level supporting policies and conditions, fostering partnerships with established research institutions, improving standardization and quality control, ensuring financial and managerial due diligence, and recruiting entrepreneurial leaders capable of holding dual scientific and business responsibilities. Read more

Major Challenge and Constraint of Documenting Indigenous Knowledge about Africa’s Complementary and Alternative  Medicine (e-ACAM) by C. Masango, V. Mbarika, O.Ngwa | International Conference on ICT for Africa, 2013

This paper explores whether it is possible to document all types of indigenous knowledge about Africa’s complementary and alternative medicine especially in view of the fact that alternative medicine is practiced secretly as it is a source of livelihoods to traditional medicine practices. The paper looks at some of the reasons for documenting indigenous knowledge and states that while the use of complementary and alternative medicine is widespread and universally used within diverse groups, ethnophamacological information of medicinal plants is fast disappearing and in view of the rapid loss of such knowledge, its documentation as well as a better understanding of its botanico-historical roots has become an essential task. The paper highlights some of the major challenges and constraints that may inhibit the documentation of all indigenous knowledge about Africa’s complementary and alternative medicine including the lack of peer review and scientific scrutiny that are supported by research findings, lack of certified guidelines on herbal medicine, lack of expertise on products etc. Finally, the paper proposes measures within intellectual property rights (IPR) in the form of patents that could be implemented in order to  document those types of knowledge about Africa’s complementary and alternative medicine that are a source of livelihoods to traditional medicine practices. Read more


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About Bob Aroture 559 Articles
Bob is a Senior Editor and Content Development Manager at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch. He holds a BS degree, with a major in biochemistry. He works directly with the Newsroom Team. His focus areas are technology and innovation, and pharmaceutical technology. Email: editorial@nlipw.com