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NAFDAC moves against Onitsha fake drug dealers

By Tony Edike

ENUGU—DETERMINED to check the nefarious activities of fake drug dealers in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has installed a fake drug detecting machine at the Onitsha Drug Market.

The machine known as “True Scan Machine” has the capacity to detect the quality of commonly used drugs in the country in order to ascertain their genuineness or otherwise within one to three minutes interval of its lesser beam scan.

Speaking during the official testing of the machine, Mrs. Leli Aigbomian, NAFDAC Chief Regulatory Officer, said the equipment also has the capacity to analyze tablets on the spot in order to ascertain the quantity of its composition, adding that “if it is pure chalk, the machine will also detect and confirm it.”

Aigbomian said that the machine was an improvement on the agency’s capacity to check fake and adulterated drugs on the spot, adding that “the machine will be mostly used at the port or point of entry of the drugs to the country,  so that the issue of fake drug importation will stop.”

“Although we have acquired a lot of these machines for distribution, I will not say for sure whether it can go round considering the number of markets we have, but some states have already been allocated sufficient number of machine while others need more,” she said.

She disclosed that the True Scan Machine test conducted within the Onitsha drug market was successful as it would help the agency realize its objectives.

“As you can see, the test attracted a lot of attention in the market as market executives, traders and journalists witnessed for themselves the authenticity of the drugs tested.  Most of the drugs tested in the various shops were of the right quality and component, since most of them got ‘pass’ indication on the machine, while one or two that got the ‘fail’ indication will be taken for further test in our laboratory,” she explained.


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