The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said it has destroyed fake, substandard and expired drugs estimated at over N20 billion in the last five years.
The director, Special Duties (NAFDAC), Dr Jimoh Abubakar, made the disclosure while fielding questions from LEADERSHIP Sunday bordering on increased proliferation of fake and substandard drugs in the country, a development which experts blame on weak regulatory systems.
Abubakar, who revealed that several offenders have been prosecuted with over 50 cases pending at the federal high courts said, survey conducted by the federal government, as well as the one sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO), indicates that the regulatory body is winning the war on fake drugs.
Giving a breakdown, he said, “In January 2017, we destroyed counterfeit drugs worth N9.6billion in Port Harcourt, consisting of 11 containers. It was a joint operation between NAFDAC and the Nigerian Customs.” He added also that in 2015, counterfeit drugs destroyed from various warehouses in Lagos State stood at N5 billion.
According to Abubakar, “In the last five years, not less than N20 billion worth of counterfeit drugs have been destroyed.
He explained that statistics released after a national survey sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005 revealed that fake drugs in the country dropped drastically from between 40-50 per cent to 16.5 per cent
The director, Special Duties who absolved his agency of any crime said, “several people have been prosecuted and over 50 cases are pending in Federal High Courts. But you know, NAFDAC does not have control over the judicial process.
On Codeine, Jimoh Abubakar said, the federal government has, as part of its response to the menace of Codeine abuse, ordered a ban on the importation of the chemical used in producing it, adding that, NAFDAC, on its part, discontinued the issuance of licenses as a smart strategy to halt its import.
He said, “Without license, there will be no importation so tactically, it is banned.’’
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