-As NPHCDA refutes report
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has faulted a report by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) which stated that 70 percent of medicines distributed in Nigeria are substandard.
The NPHCDA had published on its website on Monday that over 70 percent of medical drugs being dispensed in Nigeria are substandard and that majority of Nigerians do not have access to health services.
According to the NPHCDA report, “Majority of Nigerians do not have access to health services; 20 per cent of all maternal deaths globally occur in Nigeria; infant mortality occurs at a rate of 19 deaths per 1,000 births. Children under five are dying at a rate of 128 per 1,000, while over 70 per cent of medical drugs dispensed in Nigeria are substandard.
“The weaknesses of the PHC system led to the under-utilisation of the PHC, resulting in significant burden within the health sector, with patients over-lying on tertiary and secondary health care services”.
Reacting to this report on behalf of Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, the agency’s Media Consultant, Mr Sayo Akintola said the report was not accurate as it must have been published in error, adding that it was a good development the sister agency has written a rebuttal on the report.
Akintola further explained how NAFDAC has been fighting the circulation of fake drugs in the country, with copious examples of victory over the merchants of death.
He said “What do you think would have happened if 70 percent of drugs in Nigeria are substandard as initially alleged? It would’ve been chaotic. It was a blunder and I’m happy it has been corrected through the rebuttal.
“NAFDAC is doing all within the confines of the law to nib the menace of circulation of fake drugs in the bud. Last November alone over N3b worth of such drugs were seized by the Agency in two warehouses at the Lagos trade fare complex. Last month a man was sent to 7 years in prison without an option of fine in Awka, Anambra for falsifying Emzor paracetamol tablets. NAFDAC obtained the landmark judgment.
“We are doing the needful. But Nigerians should assist us by reporting to any of our offices any incidence of drug falsification. That’s how we can collectively safeguard the health of the nation”.
Refuting the report, the NPHCDA said its Executive Director did not make such statement at any time, saying drugs administration and monitoring are outside his obligations.
According to a statement made available to Pharmanewsonline by the Public Relations Unit of NPHCDA, “the public relations unit of the agency can authoritatively report that the Executive Director never made such a statement anywhere in his engagements.
“Furthermore, the Executive Director is aware that drug administration and monitoring is outside the Agency’s mandate, and it is incorrect to assert that 7 out of every 10 drugs in Nigeria is substandard”.