By Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis –
It was a pleasant surprise when a team of National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) inspection officials, led by its Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii, recently visited the premises of Strides Vital in Adeniyi Jones, Lagos.
Among the visiting NAFDAC team were Mrs Stella Denloye, NAFDAC director of laboratory services and MrsEdosaOgbeide, NAFDAC deputy director, Port Inspection Directorate, Drug Port Division.
The team was taken round on facility inspection to sections like quality control laboratory, microbiology laboratory, granulation and mixing, compression, blending, coating, blister packing room and packing hall.
Commending the company for sustaining its good manufacturing practice (GMP) and improving generally since the last visit (during Prof. Dora Akunyili’s era), MrsOgbeide disclosed that she was pleased that a lot of positive things had taken place over the years.
“I know Strides Vital is one of few companies with good GMP in this country. It even gladdens my heart to hear that your company is putting up a new structure aside from the old warehouse, to commence on production of your proposed ARVs,” she said.
Mrs. Denloye, on her part, also counselled the company to put necessary documents on scale safety, system suitability and other needs in place, to prevent inspectors from erroneously thinking the company had certain skeletons to hide.
In appreciation of the observations, Mr. Matthew Philips, Stride’s operations manager, said the suggestions of the NAFDAC team were much esteemed, as the management clearly understood that the opinions of inspectors were vital for improvement.
Making his own contribution, Dr. Orhii said that he was impressed with the inspection, as no major flaw was noticed.
“If two of my most critical inspectors can see little or no flaw, what more can I say?” he asked rhetorically. “I am even more surprised that, given the whole lot of progress we saw here today, Strides Vital was not included in the earlier WHO pre-qualification list we submitted. But God willing, I am hoping we could have you on the next one. Your management has done well! I also thank you for accepting us, given the short notice we gave. Please be free to ask our inspectors questions or invite us whenever you have issues to clarify,” he said.
Thanking the NAFDAC boss, MrAnoop Kumar, regional head of the company, noted that quality had always been Strides’ watchword.
“Even when we started out, Nigeria was our first market, before establishing our presence in other 55 countries across the globe. The country is like a second home to the management, as well as to many Indian investors,” he emphasised.