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Counterfeit Drugs: NAFDAC Refutes 70% Claim, Insists Prevalence On Downward Trend

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BY PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA, Abuja –

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC), has reiterated that the prevalence of counterfeit medicines and other pharmaceutical products circulating in the country are on persistent decline and not on the increase as recently alleged.

Dr Abubakar Jimoh, director, Special Duties, NAFDAC, stated this while reacting to a media publication alleging that 70 per cent of medicines circulating in the country were fake.

He said a baseline survey conducted by NAFDAC in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in terms of determining the level of counterfeit drugs in the country for all categories was estimated to be 16.7 per cent in 2005.

According to him, another nationwide survey carried out by NAFDAC using the truscan; a device that automatically identifies a fake or genuine drug, had narrow down the prevalence from 16.7 to 6.4 percent in 2012.

He said in 2012, the agency carried out a survey on anti-malaria, being the key target of counterfeiters and the result was 19.6 per cent.

Jimoh, stressed that the publication was displeasing and misleading and therefore needs to be urgently corrected so that it doesn’t send a dangerous signal to the unsuspected public and also the Nigeria stakeholders, particularly the pharmaceutical industries.

Andrew Navin, a financial ‘expert’, had alleged that 70 per cent of pharmaceutical products circulating in the country were fake.

He gave the report while presenting a keynote address at the opening of the 90th Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in Umauahia, Abia State.

Explaining further, Jimoh said, “NAFDAC don’t usually respond to such reports but because it is coming from somebody being described as an ‘expert’, we believe we have to take it very seriously so that the people will not be misinformed.”



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