BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA-The Director General of National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii, has estimated drug counterfeiting as a $75 billion business annually.
According to him, the world Customs Service estimates it as a $200 billion business annually.
He stated that drug counterfeiters target medicines used in high volume and for managing diseases of public health interest.
Dr Orhill stated this at the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Continuing Medical Education on Counterfeit/Fake Medicines and Pharmacovigilance yesterday.
He explained that one of the major challenges being faced by regulatory agencies around the world was the counterfeiting of regulated products, which had become a global problem that presents an enormous public health challenge.
He noted that drug counterfeiting had far reaching implications in developing countries, and could lead to therapeutic failure, drug resistance or even death in some cases.
According to him, the recent global offensive against illicit narcotic trade, led by USA, Nigeria and Mexico, has resulted in drug barons increasingly directing their resources into less risky and more lucrative drug counterfeiting business, creating international syndicates and making drug counterfeiting more global, sophisticated and militarized.