7,000 Pharmacists Leave Nigeria in Two Years

by Ikem Emmanuel
Pharmaceutical Brain Drain:

In a concerning trend, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Prof. Cyril Usifoh, has revealed that over 7,000 pharmacists have emigrated from Nigeria in the past two years. This unsettling revelation was made during the 96th annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, which had the theme “Pharmaceutical Practice: A pivot to universal health coverage in Nigeria.”

Prof. Cyril Usifoh, a distinguished figure in the field of Pharmacy, attended the conference to assess the association’s work over the past year and to strategize on ways to enhance the health sector in Nigeria.

The root cause of this concerning trend is the issue of brain drain. Pharmacists are opting to leave Nigeria in search of more favorable practice conditions abroad. This phenomenon presents a major challenge to the health sector, demanding immediate attention for the betterment of Nigerians’ well-being.

Usifoh emphasized the crucial role that the government must play in reversing this trend. He stressed that the government should create a conducive environment for pharmacists to operate effectively, motivating them to stay in the country and contribute to its development. In his view, addressing brain drain is not merely about stopping professionals from leaving; it’s about creating conditions that encourage them to stay and actively participate in the country’s growth.

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Usifoh’s vision includes a strong partnership between the pharmaceutical community and the government to improve the health sector. He believes that by creating opportunities and a supportive environment, Nigeria can not only halt the brain drain but also experience a “brain gain” as professionals are attracted back to the country.


As an active step toward this goal, attendees at the conference, including PSN members and industrialists, are exploring collaboration with the Gombe State government. Their aim is to tap into the potential opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry in the state, setting a positive example of how partnerships and government support can make a significant difference in retaining skilled professionals and fostering growth in Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

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