By Chinyere Amalu
ABUJA – Henceforth lifetime jail term or death penalty would be pronounced on manufacturers and distributors of fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii made this declaration yesterday in Abuja, at the World Press Conference on International Collaboration against Counterfeit Drugs in Nigeria.
According to him, the pronouncement would be especially in situations where it is determined that such medicines has caused death or severe bodily injury to persons who had used them.
His words, â€œthis will be strongly advocated for in the proposed NAFDAC new law against offenders. We actively encourage and would assist victims that gather evidence to enable us successfully sue manufacturers and distributors of these deadly products.”
He also said the massive campaign against importers was a joint collaboration between NAFDAC, the Chinese Government, India and the United States of AmericaÂ (U.S.A.) to build an international coalition against counterfeit drugs.
â€œFor the first time, the Indian Parliament enacted a law imposing a life sentence on anyone arrested and convicted for the manufacture and distribution of spurious pharmaceutical products in Indiaâ€, he added.
In a statement, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Rong Yansong said Nigeria was the republicâ€™s most important trade partner in Africa even as he regretted the importation of fake drugs into the country by some Chinese nationals.
â€œThe Chinese government would ensure the punishment of fake drug exporters from China into Nigeria, just like those already in their custody would be dealt with according to the lawâ€, said the Ambassador.