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NAFDAC reads riot act to China, India over ‘killer drugs’ in Nigeria

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it is committed to safeguarding the health of Nigerians through proper monitoring of sales of drugs in the markets.

Its Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

Adeyeye said: “NAFDAC will ensure it safeguard the health of the nation by ensuring that whatever product bought from any of its regulated products is of high quality.

“There was an instance of an elderly person that used anti-malaria tablet and the person could not walk.

“Then, I asked if the person had stroke, but they said No; very likely, it is linked to a falsify medicine.”

Adeyeye said NAFDAC’s job was to ensure consumers have confidence when they go out to buy medicine, adding that it was 24/7 activities revolving around ensuring consumers’ confidence.

According to her, a lot of our products here in Nigeria comes from China and India and we have agent, we call it “Clean Report Inspection Analyst Agent (CRIA)’’.

She said that CRIA was saddled with the responsibility of testing drugs coming into Nigeria before they left the shores of those countries.

“What we did in September 2019 was to go to India and China, and the plan was to meet with the CRIA, but we change our modules-operandi, because their CRIA have some plans they used under them.

“We conclude that we were going to be dealing with personality, meet persons to persons and laboratories.

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“There are some laboratories in India and China which may not have the capacity to test one product or the other or to perform a test.

“We usually do series of test, and they will claim they have done it. I read a riot act to them that you cannot be shipping drugs to our country to kill our people.

“We have an agreement with CRIA, and we will break up the agreement, if they cannot perform,’’ Adeyeye said.

The NAFDAC chief said not all the manufacturers were compromising standard, pointing out that only one or two agents were compromising standard.

Firm urges NAFDAC to prosecute importers, manufacturers of unwholesome products

The General Manager of J.I. Ejison Ltd, Mr Obianika Okafor, has urged the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to ensure that importers and producers of counterfeit and substandard products are charged to court.

Okafor, whose company imports beverages and drinks, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Awka.

He said the arrest and prosecution of such offenders would serve as a deterrent to others who were likely to indulge in such unwholesome business practices.

The general manager commended NAFDAC for its efforts at sanitising food, drug and other regulated products marketed in the country, especially in the South-East where the agency destroyed unwholesome products worth about N1.32 billion in 2019.

He said his company volunteered a batch of one of the products in its range that had production error to the agency as part of J.I. Ejison’s contributions towards achieving the objectives of NAFDAC.

He, however, observed that it was not enough to seize such products and destroy them, but the regulatory agency should ensure that the perpetrators face the full weight of the law.

Okafor decried the huge economic loss associated with destruction of unwholesome products and urged businessmen and manufacturers to ensure that their products fulfilled regulatory standards before going to the markets.

“In the past, there have been raids where NAFDAC and law enforcement agencies busted the exact points where these people adulterate these products.

“We want to see these suspects arraigned and convicted if found guilty but in most cases they are left off the hook and allowed to go back to their illicit businesses.

“So we are calling on NAFDAC to go beyond seizing these goods and destroying them but the people involved should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Nigerians should stop importing adulterated and substandard products, they should stop faking good products, especially drugs which we all know is deadly to the human system and society in general,” he said.

It will be recalled that NAFDAC on Dec. 30, 2019 in Awka, destroyed unwholesome products worth N1.32 billion generated from the five states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.

According to Mr Kingsley Ejiofor, the Director, Investigation and Enforcement of NAFDAC, the destroyed goods were expired, substandard, counterfeited and banned items which were voluntarily surrendered, seized and ordered for destruction by the courts.

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