Prospects of patent medicine vendors and healthcare delivery in Nigeria

In spite of the challenges confronting patent medicine vendors in Nigeria, government realized the role of patent medicine vendors in healthcare delivery through employment and their contribution to macroeconomic development. It is therefore only proper to say government is making tremendous effort in ensuring that these challenges are tacked. This explains why apart from the past effort by government, the emergence of democracy has also increase government effort since democracy is tied with economic development (Oshiname & Brieger, 1992).

Government in the past has established various support institutions and reliefs measures aimed at enhancing and improving the capacity of private medicine vendors. Example of such includes, specialized banks meant to offer investment credits and loans to improve the investment capacity of SMEs which include private medicine vendors. In addition, government also initiates regulatory and preferential laws as a measure of protection and offers preferential treatment to patent medicine vendors for the purpose of its improvement and development (Adikwu, 1996).

However and despite government effort in the past there is a renew support for private medicine vendors since 1999;the government has since commence economic reform which SMEs are central to its objectives. The opportunity on the future of patent medicine vendors has started yielding result, because the economic reforms had shown evidence of improvement in the legal and regulatory environment, particularly regarding registration, unionism, taxation and infrastructural improvement (Mosoru, Olowookorun & Spiff, 2007).

The establishment of Bank of Industry(BOI), small and medium scale enterprises development agencies of Nigeria, the facilitation of small and medium scale industries equity investment scheme (SMIEIS)and other employment generation and poverty alleviation scheme at various levels of government. Such as National Economic Empowerment and Development strategies (NEEDS-at national level, SEED-at State level and LEEDS-at Local Government level) (Iweze, 2007).


Adikwu, M. U. (1996). Sales practices of patent medicine sellers in Nigeria. Health Policy and Planning, 11, 202–5.

Iweze, E. A. (2007). The patent medicine store: hospital for the urban poor. In: Makinwa PK, Ozo OA [eds]. The urban poor in Nigeria. Ibadan, Nigeria: Evans Brothers Ltd.

Mosoru, Y. A. Olowookorun, O. O. & Spiff,  I. A. (2007).  survey of patent medicine stores in Tapa and Ayete. Project submitted to the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine. College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Oshiname, F. O. & Brieger, W. R. (1992). Primary care training for patent medicine vendors in rural Nigeria. Social Science and Medicine, 35, 1477–84.

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