March 31, 2022

NAFDAC: Nigeria has 15% of fake medicines, not 70%

NAFDAC warns Kebbi manufacturers against use of cancerous chemicals on consumables

*To begin tracking of antimalaria, anti-HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis medicines

*Assures that Nigeria ‘ll get WHO’s maturity level 4 status in a year

By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has said Nigeria has 13 to 15 percent of fake medicines contrary to claims in some quarters that the country has 70 percent of fake medicines.

It, however, said it had begun a process of mitigating the amount of the fake or substandard drugs in the country.

Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, speaking to reporters, Thursday in Abuja, on the sideline of commissioning of newly purchased staff vehicles,insisted that claims that Nigeria has a high amount of fake drugs in circulation was fake.

She said going by ongoing efforts of staff, NAFDAC would soon get maturity level 4 status to enable Nigeria’s products trade  and compete globally.

She said the agency was doing what she referred to as risk based sampling of products that  can be easily fake. 

“There was some rumours from somehere that 70 percent of our medicines are not good. That is a lie, that is not true.

“I will say about 15 percent, because we are doing what is called risk based sampling of products that we know can be easily fake,”she said.

Adeyeye,who said the agency was successfully tracking the location of COVID-19 vaccines across the country, hinted that it would begin a similar thing with antimalaria, anti-HIV/AIDS and antituberculosis medicines to ascertain the quality and quantity of the drugs in circulation.

She said the agency was at the verge of purchasing a device to assist tackle fake medicines.

Adeyeye said,”As we speak, it is part of our maturity level consideration,we have to show that we have things in place to go after products that are fake. We are going to be mitigating it. 

“Our staff are working on offloading some tools on laptops. I am going to be using a device that costs about $57,000  

“We will have 40 of the devices. It’s like this cellphone. You place it on the table and it will show both the quality and the quantity. We are doing that on the side because that is what they want to see, that we are putting all these in place. 

“We are also doing track and trade,it is highly technical. We are doing that to mitigate substandard fortified medicines but it is not something we do overnight. 

“We started with COVID-19 vaccines. For the COVID-19,we know where every vaccine is in the country because of the track and trade technology.

“We are going to start doing that over antimalaria, antituberculosis ,and anti-HIV/AIDS. That is coming through global fund support. So we are expanding it,we are already engaging our local manufacturers to put that barcoding tract and trade in place so that we can monitor their own products from the manufacturer to the pharmacist that would dispense in the hospital or the practice setting,drug store and others.”

Asked on when the agency would attain maturity level 4,she said; I don’t want to give timeline, unless to my staff. “

“With the event of yesterday,we have started working on maturity level 4. Sincerely speaking,to get to maturity level 4,will take us atleast one year because many things have to be put in place.”