Lagos State to establish essential medicines agency for efficient management, distribution of medicines

The Lagos State Government has unveiled plans to establish the Lagos State Essential Medicines Agency (LSEMA) as part of its strategic efforts to ensure seamless management and distribution of essential medicines within the state.

The announcement was made by the State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, during the ongoing Year 2024 Ministerial Press Briefing organized to mark the first year of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term in office at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.

Professor Abayomi highlighted the significance of establishing LSEMA, emphasizing its role in transforming the management and distribution of essential medicines in line with the Federal Government’s mandate for every state to set up a Drug Management Agency.

The essential medicines agency

According to Professor Abayomi, the establishment of LSEMA is designed to address significant challenges in the supply chain by introducing a structured and technologically driven approach to the procurement, storage, and distribution of health commodities.

  • He outlined several benefits of the Essential Medicines Agency, including robust regulation of medicine flow, improved access to quality drugs, enhanced health planning data, and increased internal revenue generation through efficient drug sales.
  • Professor Abayomi also emphasized the application of economies of scale during bulk purchases to maintain stable prices for essential medicines regardless of economic fluctuations.

In terms of operational strategies, Professor Abayomi stressed the importance of public-private partnerships, stating that LSEMA would leverage productive collaborations with the private sector to enhance operational capacities.

  • The agency will act as a regulator, ensuring close cooperation with national regulatory bodies like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to maintain strict quality standards for all essential medicines distributed within the state.

What you should know

To address funding challenges, the agency will explore innovative financing models, including private-sector investments, ensuring self-sustainability with revenues generated through the sale of medicines.

  • Reaffirming the administration’s commitment to transforming the health sector, Professor Abayomi emphasised Governor Sanwo-Olu’s direction aimed at making the health sector a significant contributor to the state’s economy.
  • On health infrastructure development, Professor Abayomi highlighted several key projects nearing completion, including the Massey Children’s Specialist Hospital, Ojo General Hospital, Ketu-Ejinrin Mental Health Institute, Shomolu General Hospital, and construction of four new Primary Healthcare Centers across various districts.
  • In addition, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Kemi Ogunyemi, disclosed plans for a free medical outreach programme tagged: “Alafia Eko”, targeting 25,000 residents across the six Lagos Health Districts.
  • This initiative is part of the Eko Cares Programme aimed at delivering essential healthcare services to Lagos residents, ensuring equitable access to quality healthcare for all.


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