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Abstract

GENERATION AND ACCEPTABILITY OF HERBAL MEDICINES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OUTPUTS IN NIGERIA

*Kanayo P. Osemene1, Matthew O. Ilori2 and Anthony A. Elujoba3

1Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacy Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.
2Technology Planning and Development Unit, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.
3Department of Pharmacognosy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT

The generation and the degree of acceptability of herbal medicines research and development (R&D) outputs in Nigeria have not been widely studied. Opinions differ on the number of herbal medicines produced from various research centres in the country; as well as their level of acceptability by consumers. The factors that influenced their generation remain issues of intense debate in academic discourse. Hence this study, through structured questionnaire, sort the opinions of 100 herbal medicine scientists in 13 universities, 100 herbal medicine scientists in 3 research institutes and 125 scientists in 50 herbal medicine manufacturing pharmaceutical firms in Nigeria, on the number of herbal medicines (R&D) outputs generated, and the factors influencing their generation. Also opinions of 300 herbal medicine consumers, who were randomly selected from the six geographical zones in Nigeria, were sort on their degree of acceptability of herbal medicine based on their perception and assessment of attributes of herbal medicines which they had used before with respect to the following parameters namely, affordability, availability, packaging, safety, efficacy, and side effects. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used at 5% and 10% confidence levels to analyze the data obtained. The study revealed that the total number of herbal medicine outputs generated was 2148. There were significant correlations between herbal medicine outputs and age of the scientists (r=0.421),experience of the scientists (r=0.594),R&D funding (r=0.429), qualifications of the scientists(r=0.421), availability of R&D facility(0.486) and freedom in selecting R&D projects(r=0.356).Regression analysis revealed that experience of scientists(β1=1.800), freedom in selecting R&D projects(β2=0.015) and training of scientists(β3=1.74) contributed significantly to research outputs at 5% level of probability. On a 5-point Likert Scale, herbal medicine consumers rated their acceptability of herbal medicines based on availability (1.56), packaging (2.54), affordability (1.50), safety (2.82), efficacy (1.82) and side effects (2.53). Geopolitical zones and educational qualifications of herbal medicine consumers had statistically significant effects on herbal medicine acceptability, with respect to safety, efficacy and side effects at 5% and 10% significant levels. The study concluded that the generation of herbal medicines research and development outputs in Nigeria is enormous. However, care must be taken in accepting completely the results on the level of acceptability of herbal medicines because most of the consumers confessed taking herbal medicines with orthodox medicines concomitantly. This made it difficult to state categorically which type of medicine was responsible for whatever action.

Keywords: Generation, acceptability, herbal medicine, research and development outputs, Nigeria.


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