NAFDAC Set to Intensify War against Fake, Substandard Medicines

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NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye

Sequel to the preponderance of substandard and falsified medicines in the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has vowed to confront the menace headlong with the implementation of pharmaceutical traceability strategy, with a view to safeguarding the health of the Nigerian populace.

Acknowledging the dire consequences of the circulation of substandard and fake medicines to the health of the citizens, NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, emphasised that the falsification and diversion of health commodities carry very serious health and economic implications.

The World Health Organisation, WHO has also  identified the issue of substandard and falsified medicines as one of the urgent health challenges for the next decade, given that more than one in ten medicines in low- and middle-income countries are estimated to be substandard or falsified.

In its recent report titled “Substandard and falsified medical products”  the apex health agency stated that no country remains untouched from this issue, and WHO has received reports of substandard or falsified medical medicines, vaccines and in vitro diagnostics from all regions of the world. Both generic and innovator medicines can be falsified, ranging from very expensive products for cancer to very inexpensive products for treatment of pain.

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The document revealed that WHO Member States have agreed on a comprehensive global strategy focused on prevention, detection and response to move towards achieving increased access to quality, safe, effective and quality medical products.

Prof. Adeyeye noted that the onerous task of safeguarding the health of the nation is daunting in the face of the chaotic drug distribution system currently existing in Nigeria.

The NAFDAC DG, who dropped the hint at the Traceability Workshop in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said the training was aimed at finalizing the draft traceability of pharmaceutical products regulations in the country.

In a statement by NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant in Lagos on Sunday, Sayo Akintola, the NAFDAC boss opined that the consideration of these consequences vis-à-vis the mandate of the agency to regulate and control among other things, the distribution of drugs and other regulated products is sufficient motivation to implement pharmaceutical traceability to complement the fight against the menace of substandard and falsified medicines and improve the regulatory control of the medicines supply chain in Nigeria.

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She further explained that NAFDAC was committed to the implementation of pharmaceutical traceability in Nigeria as part of the regulatory strengthening and underscoring of its mandate.

She reiterated that agency had developed a 5-Year Traceability Implementation plan in line with the objectives of the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy to achieve supply chain visibility and strengthen interventions against the scourge of substandard and falsified medicines by the end of her second term.

Prof. Adeyeye however, stated that the development, gazetting and dissemination of the Traceability of Pharmaceutical Products Regulations is essential for the adoption and enforcement of the provisions of the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy.

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She said that the regulation, accompanied by guidelines and compliance requirements would provide a legal framework to support advocacy for all stakeholders to implement traceability in distribution of pharmaceuticals or supply chain.

She noted that the participation of relevant stakeholders during the drafting of the Traceability Regulation is important to ensure there is understanding among stakeholders of the provisions of the Regulation, and to welcome feedback, with the goal of improving compliance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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