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CBN building

Adebayo Obajemu

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of its policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, introduces the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development (R&D) in new and improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics of infectious diseases in Nigeria.

Specifically, the HSRDIS is designed to trigger intense national R&D activities to develop a Nigerian vaccine, drugs and herbal medicines against the spread of COVID-19 and any other communicable or non-communicable diseases through the provision of grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes for the research and development of drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

The Scheme is intended to boost domestic manufacturing of critical drugs and vaccines to ensure their sustainable domestic supply and reduce the bulk manufacturing costs of the drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines in Nigeria.

According to CBN guidelines made available on its official website, the broad objectives of Scheme include:

Providing grants for R&D in new or revalidation of drug molecule, phytomedicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria;Boosting domestic manufacturing of validated drugs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients or APIs), herbal medicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria and 3 Classified as Confidential reduce the nation’s dependence on other countries for these drugs and vaccines;Improving the capacity of the biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes in the development of approved Nigerian drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines for infectious diseases;Supporting capacity of relevant health agencies towards attaining WHO Maturity Level 3, a prerequisite for manufacturing of vaccines in Nigeria;Facilitating partnership between academia (researchers, research institutes and universities) and industry into the research and development of drugs, phytomedicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria; andReduce dependence on imported drug products (synthetic and herbal) and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria.

Eligibility for grants

According to the Apex bank, activities eligible for consideration under the Scheme shall include:

Research and development of candidate drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases;Manufacturing of drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases;Red biotechnological R&D in new health technology for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases;Research partnership between academia and industry into the development drugs and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases;Research and development into validated phytomedicines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

Grant Limit

Development/Manufacturing activities: Maximum of N500.0 million.Research activities: Maximum of N50.0 million.

According to CBN, the Scheme shall be funded from the Developmental Component of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF

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