As part of its effort to strengthen the public healthcare system, the Central Bank of Nigeria has unveiled guidelines to its Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) Grant.
CBN unveiled guidelines for stakeholders interested in accessing the newly introduced funds for local healthcare research and development.
The guideline stated that 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.
It would also curb any other communicable or non-communicable diseases through the provision of grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes, according to CBN.
The CBN said the scheme would be funded from the developmental component of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund.
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According to the apex bank, the grant limit for research activities is a maximum of N50m; while development/manufacturing activities attract a maximum of N500m.
As part of its policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBN introduced the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development in new and improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
The CBN said the scheme was 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.
Further more the guidelines stated that, the disbursement under the scheme would be made to beneficiaries in tranches, subject to approved milestones achieved.
The CBN said the research and development timeframe would not be more than two years from the date of release of fund.
It added that the development/manufacturing activities would not be more than one year from the date of the release of fund.
“In applying for the grant, the applicant shall be required to have conducted pre-clinical testing of the candidate drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines, and obtained certification from relevant health authorities for further research and development.
“Special consideration shall be given to candidate drugs, herbal medicines and
vaccines with high scientific merit against emerging infections and contribute to the development of the Nigerian vaccine.”