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Fake drugs: Senate, NAFDAC take war to China

In furtherance of Nigeria’s leading role in the global campaign against drug counterfeiting and enhancement of easy access to good quality drugs, a combined team of the Senate Committee on Health and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, respectively led by Senator Iyabo Obasanjo Bello and Dr. Paul Orhii has concluded a five-day working visit to China.

The working visit which preceded a similar one planned for India was a pragmatic step jointly taken by NAFDAC and the Senate Committee on Health to tackle the hydra-headed problem of influx of fake drugs and unwholesome processed food in which some unscrupulous Chinese pharmaceutical companies have been identified.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Obasanjo Bello and NAFDAC Director General, Dr, Orhii who were upbeat and elated at the huge success of the working visit said a new vista of opportunity has been created for NAFDAC and Chinese Food and Drug Administration, SFDA, to close rank and work together in eradicating the reoccurring problem of exportation of counterfeit drugs from China to Nigeria by a few notorious Chinese manufacturers and their Nigerian collaborators.

To partner Chinese Drug Agency

Senator Obasanjo Bello said as part of its oversight function, the Senate Committee on Health has decided to team up with NAFDAC to tackle the fake drug menace from the source by entering into close collaboration with the SFDA, Chinese Ministries of Health,  Trade and Commerce.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health who was accompanied by her deputy, Senator Gyang Dantong, Senator Eme Ekaette.and Senator Adego Eferakaye commended the proactive initiative of the NAFDAC Boss and assured that the committee will continue to give strong support to the Agency in its concerted efforts to eradicate fake drugs and safeguard the health of Nigerians,

On the other hand, Dr. Orhii disclosed that the visit laid a solid foundation for the harmonious working relationship between NAFDAC and SFDA, as well as the eventual signing of the MOU later in the year.

He explained that the proposed MOU will be built around information sharing, harmonization of regulations on imported pharmaceutical products, cooperation on enforcement of severe sanction against fake drug offenders and support on staff training.

According to him, it is in the best interest of China who currently controls 25 percent of Nigeria’s imported pharmaceutical products to cooperate with NAFDAC to eliminate the few bad eggs who sought to tarnish the image of China through exportation of spurious drugs.

Earlier, the Director General of Chinese SFDA, Dr. XU Youjun commended NAFDAC for taking the bold step to combat the fake drug menace and assured the visiting Nigerian team that the new rapport between the two sister regulatory agencies will put an end to the influx of counterfeit medicines from China and also increase availability of good quality drugs in the country.

Dr. Youjun said the SFDA     team will pay a return visit to Nigeria later this year in order to cement the new bond of friendship and mutual cooperation in the regulation and control of drugs between the two nations.

The five-day working visit was wrapped up with top level meetings with officials of SFDA, Ministries of Health, Trade and Commerce, National Pharmaceutical Institute and key manufacturers of drugs in China.


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