By Sola Ogundipe
Measures to ensure the registration of drugs and other controlled substances, towards ensuring the registration turnaround time stays within the 90-day limit, have been announced by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The move, which is response to complaints by members of the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN) was aceeded to by the Director-General of NAFDAC Dr. Paul Orhii, who also announced that under the e-registration system being worked out, transactions such as making the necessary payments among others, can be done on-line.
Orhii said it would be possible to send samples and applications at the same time with payment, rather than having the applicants wait for acknowledgement and other details before sending in samples.
APIN President Pharm. Nnamdi Obi had noted that there are usually undue delays in the registration of drugs sometimes lasting over one year. Similarly, General Secretary of the Association Barr. Chiweze Ukwuoma observed that sometimes such delays are caused by ancillary issues that are not central to the registration process.
APIN members were enjoined to promptly respond to queries that might arise in the course of registration within the stipulated three days, as the DG noted that delays in response to such queries usually add to prolong the period of registration.
The Agency is also to reconsider the present period of advertisement permit for any product which is now one year.
With these measures in place, the turnaround time for drugs to reach the market will be reduced as delays sometimes affect cost of funds and to that extent prices of products.