NAFDAC DG vows to clampdown on distributors of fake drugs in Nigeria

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By Blessing Bature

Determined to combat the incidence of substandard and falsified (SF) medicines in the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC has engaged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical products supply chain.

The Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, at a stakeholders meeting, emphasized the need to explore how to combat the sale and distribution of Substandard and Falsified Medical Products within the supply chain, insisting that the Agency would not hesitate to clamp down on wholesale and retail outlets where fake drugs are dispensed for public use.

According to her, the engagement with Pharma supply chain stakeholders in Nigeria serves as a means of thinking together and putting in place a position that will represent or guide collective efforts and strategy to prevent, detect, and respond to substandard and falsified medicinal products, adding that the goal is to ensure that medical products in circulation are of the quality standard required and safe for public use.

The NAFDAC boss noted that the high prevalence of SF in Africa is a major threat to public health, attributing this to the fact that regulation in the region is limited with about 10% of African National Regulatory Agencies NRAs having achieved ML3.

Prof Adeyeye noted with dismay that this allows for poorly regulated manufacturers to supply their products in Africa where technologies to detect SF and track/trace are limited.

She added that the menace of substandard and falsified medical products threatens access to safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines, undermining health systems and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage globally.

With the mandate to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale, and use of drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, medical devices, and packaged water generally referred to as Regulated Products, she noted that this puts a burden on the Agency to lead the fight against SF medical products in Nigeria and support efforts that will see a reduction in the prevalence of SF medical products both locally manufactured and imported.

The DG explained that NAFDAC is not the only regulatory agency in terms of substandard falsified medicines, adding that the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) probably has more to do in the fight against fake drugs.

Prof Adeyeye explained that currently, NAFDAC is doing its best to fight this issue of Substandard and Falsified products, stating that the fight against Substandard/Falsified medical products is based on three broad thematic areas Prevent, Detect, and Respond (PDR).