By Sola Ogundipe
The controversy surrounding the status of Amalar, an anti-malarial, has come to an end with the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and ControlÂ (NAFDAC) clarifying that the product was never banned, and that the Agency never pronounced that it was banned in a press statement concerning the
importation fake and adulterated Amalar and Maloxine.
The issue had drawn varied interpretations, misrepresentations and public anxiety especially as the two products contain Sulfadoxine and Pyrimethamine, the
only drug recommended for use in Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) for malaria in pregnant mothers.
Elbe Pharma Ltd, marketers of Amalar in Nigeria, had,Â in a petition sent to the NAFDAC Director-General insisted that negative press reactions had impugned
on the intergrity and reputation of the anti-malarial product, threatening its established market share and long term investment potentials of the company.
The company alleged that the reaction had gone to the extent that its sales outlets were being harassedÂ for stocking and selling of Amalar in some states
across the Federation.
â€œHow can I react to what I did not say? What we stated was that a container load of fake and adulterated antimalarial drugs was intercepted by the Agency. In
the container was Maloxine and Amalar. We decided toÂ invite the registered owners of the products. While St Michaels Pharmaceuticals claimed not to have
imported Maloxine since 2003, Elbe Pharmaceuticals the owner of Amalar confirmed that their product has different graphical presentation from the fake
He said the seized products are in NAFDAC warehouse ready for destruction. â€œWhat am saying in effect is that the fake Amalar product has not infiltrated into
the drug distribution system. There was no time we said that the brand has been banned.â€