June 11, 2009

Drug hawkers defy NAFDAC’s ban, sell in public

Drug hawkers in Kaduna have  defiled the ban placed by NAFDAC by selling drugs in the open markets, investigations by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has shown.

Hawkers in defiance of the order, sold their wares at motor parks, markets, offices and social gatherings. Some of the commonest drugs sold by the hawkers are pain relieving tablets such as paracetamol, panadol, aspirin and energisers. Others are anti-biotic used for the treatment of venereal diseases and related ailments.

Most of the drugs have neither expiring dates nor NAFDAC registration numbers. The hawkers usually load their baskets with assorted drugs sometimes moving them on a trolley.

Some of the peddlers had in an attempt to prove the potency and efficacy of their products, claimed to have enjoyed the patronage of the elite.
Mallam Isiaka Adamu, a drug vendor, said he bought his drugs from a well known drug shop and wondered why anybody would doubt his drugs’ efficacy.
Mr Anthony Okafor, another vendor operating in Kaduna metropolis, said he travelled to the East to purchase his drugs and that they were as good as any other drugs sold in medicine stores. He wondered why people doubt the efficacy of his merchandise.

“Is it because we are hawking them that make people think they are of lesser quality?,” he asked.NAN also observed that a cross section of residents of the metropolis were seen patronising them. NAFDAC officials in Kaduna had waged war against drug hawking at the motor parks and market places.

It warned against the in-take of such drugs, saying they constituted a health risk.
The organisation in a statement said such drugs were exposed to sunlight as against the pharmaceutical accepted practice of a moderate temperature for their storage.It also warned that the drugs were not authenticated by the Agency for human consumption and advised people to refrain from taking them.