National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has commenced enforcement of the deadline for implementation of the Mobile Authentication Service, MAS by pharmaceutical companies nationwide.
The enforcement operation which started last week in Abuja under the auspices of the Pharmacovigilance and Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate of NAFDAC was geared towards mopping up from circulation all anti-malarial and anti-biotic medicines that do not carry on their labels, the MAS scratch and text authentication codes introduced in 2010 by the Agency to save consumers from the menace of fake drugs.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii who is currently celebrated worldwide for introducing multi-layered anti-counterfeiting technology has vowed that there was no going back on enforcement of compliance with the MAS deadline which has previously been shifted twice in the last three years due to plea for more time by segment of the pharmaceutical industry.
Orhii said NAFDAC has the full support of the President and Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu to enforce implementation of the service in a bid to eradicate counterfeit drugs in the country.
He disclosed that firm instruction has been given to all NAFDAC offices across the country to go round various pharmaceutical outlets to enforce compliance as deadline is irreversible and sacrosanct.
”The scratch and text service (MAS) has put the power of detecting counterfeit drugs in the hands of over 100 million mobile phone users in the country,” he added.
Orhii stated that the international community is full of commendation for Nigeria for pioneering the use of cutting-edge technologies in combating counterfeit medicines.