By Chioma Obinna
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Prof. Christianah Adeyeye has explained the rationale behind the publishing of the compendium of registered products by the Agency saying, “it is a veritable source of information and an anti-counterfeiting device that will put the power of information in the hands of consumers.”
Adeyeye, who expressed optimism about the benefits said the Compendium that has about 50,000 registered products and companies listed, has been hosted on the NAFDAC website.
Speaking in Lagos at an event tagged: A date with the DG to provide a platform for discourse and exchange of information between NAFDAC and other stakeholders in the industry, the DG described the Compendium as a directory of registered products and companies consumers can fall back on in terms of gathering product information.
She said Nigerians can now have access to all the regulated registered products – food, water, cosmetics, and chemicals and traced origins of the Compendium to the era of former NAFDAC DG, the late Prof. Dora Akunyili, who collated the maiden edition to deal with fake and substandard products.
It was gathered that the Compendium would be out in three or four weeks, and Adeyeye who assumed office nine months ago, said she thought it necessary to do a revision and dissect it into product lines for easy access by consumers.
“You can either have the CD or the book. This will serve as a guide to consumers and organisations on the verification of certified products in the country. It was the very rudimentary anti-counterfeiting device that was first put in place.
“Thus, we don’t want to lose track on this device due to the proliferation of cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting technologies like Mobile Authentication System, MAS, scratch and send, then forget where we are coming from.
“That was why we decided to update it, make it ready for publication and circulate it around the whole country to the various pharmaceutical premises, supermarkets, academia, medical centres, teaching hospitals, etc, so that when the doctors are prescribing, it will serve as a validated guide to them,” she stated.
“Under the late Prof. Dora Akunyili, what led to it was that our markets were awash with fake products at a time. There was nothing on ground to show which product was registered.
“People were finding it difficult to distinguish the fake from the genuine. The Agency now came up with the Green Pages which were in one single volume. Ten years after, this is the first time the compendium is being revised.
“At the last count, we have close to about 50,000 registered products, including foods, cosmetics etc. This shows that Nigeria has moved forward and the industry has also progressed.”
Adeyeye explained that the Compendium will henceforth guide patients to cross-check prescriptions before purchase.
“Even if you don’t have the Compendium as a consumer, you will find copies at the supermarkets and pharmaceutical outlets, where you can demand and check before you buy. It can also be downloaded online from our website.
“It is a very strong aspect of NAFDAC that we cannot forget but we have decided to revise, update and circulate it around the country. We intend to circulate it to various pharmacies, supermarkets, teaching hospitals, academic institutions among others.
“It will also guide the doctors in their prescription because they will no longer prescribe what is not there. It is another way of making the business of counterfeiting very cumbersome.”
Further, Adeyeye who said NAFDAC would be marking 25 years soon, disclosed that to ensure effective discharge of regulatory functions, the Agency has developed Regulations and Guidelines to aid compliance with regulatory provisions.
“We have recently revised 25 existing regulations and harmonised 65 guidelines. These have been posted and are available on our website.“
She said the return of NAFDAC to the Ports had restored its key responsibility of regulating and controlling importation of regulated products.
“We have restructured our formations at the various Ports within the country to improve our services. Measures are being put in place for electronic submissions and verification of documents to ease import clearance. Common violations observed by importers of regulated products are forgery and incomplete documentation, importation without authorisation, false declaration and concealment, evasion amongst others.
She appealed to stakeholders to support NAFDAC by adhering to its laws and regulations by ensuring that their operations and activities are in line with NAFDAC’s extant laws and regulations.