By Chioma Obinna
LAGOS â€” Regulatory officers of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have introduced new techniques aimed at combatting the influx of fake drugs, unwholesome foods and other regulated products into the country through illegal borders.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who disclosed this at the Global Pharmaceutical Fraud and Anti-Counterfeiting Conference held in Singapore explained that the Agencyâ€™s regulatory officers at various land borders would begin training for the new techniques beginning from the last quarter of this year.
Orhii said the regulatory officers would be trained on the use of cutting-edge technologies such as Raman Spectrometry, Mini laboratory and Truscan to test and detect quality and efficacy of drugs and other products coming through the land borders.
The Director General said the Agency had been working in collaboration with other Border Control Agencies such as Nigeria Customs Service, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Nigerian Immigration Service to check the growing incidence of smuggling across the land borders.
He further noted that NAFDAC will soon partner with the private sector to build drug distribution hubs in the six geo-political zones to help sanitize the current chaotic drug distribution network in the country.
The NAFDAC boss also explained that one of the new strategies adopted by the Agency was to put the power of detecting and reporting incidence of counterfeit medicines in the hands of consumers, using short message service (SMS) based technology like GSM phones.
The Director-General said NAFDAC was recently honoured by the Federal Government with National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) in view of its courageous fight against counterfeit medicines and other substandard regulated products.
Continuing, he disclosed that over 120 destruction exercises of counterfeit and substandard products valued at over N22billion has been carried out by NAFDAC in the last eight years just as 45 fake drug offenders have been convicted within the same period,