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Safe medicines: NAFDAC unveils 5-year plan for track and trace system

By Chioma Obinna

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has unveiled a five- year plan at the ongoing second African GS1 Healthcare Conference aimed at ensuring a well-coordinated system of tracking and tracing of pharmaceutical products.

Safe medicines: NAFDAC unveils 5-year plan for track and trace system
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)

The year plan was also part of efforts to provide end-to-end safety in the drug value chain.

In her presentation, entitled: “Pharmaceutical Track and Trace In Nigeria: A Timely Imperative”, Professor Christianah Adeyeye, explained that the adoption of track and trace system was timely, as Nigeria has been faced with unstructured drug and medical products distribution system which poses a serious threat to the National Drug Policy.

Adeyeye, stated that the agency has shouldered the responsibilities of overseeing the manufacturing and distribution of quality medicines through the adoption of bar-coding.

He said, “We don’t have a good distribution system, secondly there are counterfeit and falsified medicines in our distribution system and up till now, we don’t have a track and trace system. Thirdly, we need a system where we can track and trace our medicines. In developed countries, medicines can be traced from the manufacturer to the patients.

“Every medicine should have a barcode so that if there is a problem we can track to the original manufacturer. We are not there at all and that is why we now have a five- year plan to get there as much as possible.”

Adeyeye noted that the track and trace system would be smoothened within the five years strategic plan for better and effective operations.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, GS1, Babatunde Odunlami, who noted that NAFDAC was committed to combating the challenges within the supply chain, said the collaboration with GS1 and other stakeholders would proffer long-lasting solutions.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, GS1, Babatunde Odunlami who noted that NAFDAC was committed to combating the challenges within the supply chain, said the collaboration with GS1 and other stakeholders would proffer long-lasting solutions.  He said with the newly adopted Track and Trace system, incidences of counterfeit drugs would be reduced.

On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, represented by the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Lawal, commended NAFDAC and GS1 for the giant step taken to end the scourge of counterfeit drugs adding that the focus of the conference- tracking and tracing was important because without quality medicines no one can cure diseases.

Speaking, the Chairman, World Bank, Global Steering committee for Quality Assurance, Mr. Tom Woods applauded NAFDAC and GS1, stating that, their organisation brings global solutions to local challenges.  “World Bank is present in 170 countries, ten thousand employees, coordination between ministries of health and finance in terms of grants, loans, and blended financing. We engage in policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance. We aim universal health coverage by 2030.”

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