The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has raised the alarm over the health implications of substandard and falsified medical products, describing it as a threat to global public health.
Acting Director-General of NAFDAC, Mr. Ademola Mogbojuri, who raised the alarm, said the health implications of consumption of fake drugs and food products were dire and could lead to possible death, hence, warning counterfeiters to put an end to their actions or face the law.
Fake and falsified medicinal products, he said, could lead to treatment failure, unnecessary rise in treatment cost, development of resistance, loss of confidence in the healthcare system and may ultimately, result in fatality and death.
Mogbojuri noted that counterfeiting has become a serious threat to global public health, stressing that the fight against the nefarious act requires sustained action by both governmental and non-governmental bodies.
The Acting Director-General spoke in Lagos during a stakeholders workshop organised by NAFDAC in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the theme: “The prevention, Detection and Response of Substandard and Falsified Medical Products.”
Calling for coordinated actions with international organisations to reduce to the bearest minimum the menace of substandard and falsified medical products in Nigeria, Mogbojuri stated that single and isolated interventions would not effectively address the issue.
To further tackle the problem, he suggested that WHO should establish among its member states, a mechanism on substandard, spurious falsely labelled, falsified and counterfeit medical products, following its Resolution 65:19 in May, 2012, to promote public health, access to affordable, safe, efficacious and quality medical products across the globe.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, said the Federal Government would soon be introducing drug Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWCs) to check the menace of fake and falsified medical products in the country, while warning that by 31st of December 2018, all open drug markets would be permanently shut.
Adewole said the new measure is designed to allow drugs to be sourced directly from the importers or manufacturers down to the end users, instead of buying drugs from the open drug markets.
According to the minister, the Federal Ministry of Health had already developed a National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) in 2012 to address the unsatisfactory chaotic drug distribution system of the country.
“Coordinated Wholesale Centres to accommodate open market medicines sellers have been approved and are being developed in Lagos, Onitsha, Aba and Kano and CWCs will commence operation by January 1st, 2019”, he added.