Pfizer Seeks Collaboration in Tackling Counterfeit Medicines


-As PSN President Visits Pfizer

Pfizer Seeks Collaboration in Tackling Counterfeit Medicines
L-R: Prof. Cyril Usifoh PSN president: Bunmi Femi-Oyekan, Pfizer’s regulatory director Sub- Sahara Africa; Olayinka Subair Pfizer’s cluster lead, West Africa and Gbenga Falabi, secretary general of PSN, during the courtesy visit.


As part of its mission in developing breakthroughs that significantly improve patients’ lives, a leading multinational pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has expressed interest in partnering with stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to tackle the perennial challenge of counterfeit medicines in Nigeria.


Pfizer’s Country Manager/Cluster Lead West Africa, Pharm. Olayinka Subair, made the disclosure while receiving the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Prof. Cyril Usifoh, in a courtesy visit, at the Pfizer’s office in Nigeria, recently.


Subair said counterfeit medicines often miss key ingredients and dosages, or contain added, harmful ingredients. As a result, patients who take counterfeits, including life-saving medicines for cancer and heart disease, lose the therapeutic benefits they rely on to treat their conditions.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes counterfeit medicines as substandard, unregistered/unlicensed, and falsified drugs, which can be found in illegal street markets, via unregulated websites through to pharmacies, clinics and hospitals.


It estimated that 1 in 10 medical products in low- and middle-income countries is substandard or falsified, while affirming that  substandard and falsified medical products contribute to antimicrobial resistance and drug-resistant infections.


The Pfizer’s Country Manager, decried the perennial burden of illicit trade of medicines in the country, saying it requires adequate enlightenment of patients on the identification of such products and the knowledge to protect their health from substandard medicines.


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To tackle the threat of counterfeits to patient health, he noted that Pfizer is collaborating with industry stakeholders to ensure patients have the information they need to avoid counterfeit medicines.


According to him, “The threat of counterfeits is not going away; Pfizer is seeking collaboration with stakeholders on efforts to educate consumers about counterfeit medicines because patients need the knowledge to protect their health from counterfeiters.”


“Pfizer is seeking collaboration with government agencies, pharmaceutical organizations, doctors, pharmacists, and industry partners to help raise awareness of the growing problem of counterfeit medicines,” said Subair. “Together, we seek to tackle this threat to patient health by stopping counterfeits before they reach patients, giving consumers information they need to make the right choices, and supporting healthcare providers in our communities.”

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In his response, the PSN President accepted the offer for collaboration, as he pledged the support of the Society to team-up with the pharma company in ridding of unwholesome medicines.


Prof. Usifoh remarked, “The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria as a body that seeks to maintain a high standard of Professional ethics and discipline among its members would give all the support to work together with Pfizer.


“We would see how we can amplify by reaching out to stakeholders and see how far we can go in driving this campaign successfully”.











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