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NAFDAC worried about proliferation of substandard medicines

Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, has said that the proliferation of sub-standard and falsified medicines pose danger to public health and economic growth.

Speaking at the 23rd NECCI PR Roundtable in Lagos on Thursday, she said illicit sales and distribution of sub-standard and falsified medicines were threatening the attainment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and leading to global assault on public health globally.

With the theme: “Fighting the Scourge of Illicit Trade In The Pharma Industry: The Role of Communication,” she said the menace portends grave financial losses, possible divestment and close of shop for the pharmaceutical industry.

Adeyeye said no single agency could undertake the battle alone, adding that the approach must be multi-faceted.

To her, concerted efforts were needed.
She identified challenges as uncoordinated drug distribution and supply chain system; drug hawking and proliferation of street/ open drug markets; increasing use of postal/ courier services for dispatch of small parcels of sub-standard and falsified medicines; availability of advanced technologies; reduced risks of prosecution; non-deterrent laws and weak penalties; proliferation of rogue online pharmacists/ unregulated sales of medicines online; ignorance, poverty and high cost of living; scarcity of medicines and abuse of free trade zones and lawful trade facilitation mechanisms.

On what NAFDAC is doing to bridge the gap, she listed attainment of ISO9001:2015 certification and WHO Maturity Level 3, which implies that NAFDAC has reached the level of regulatory system operating as a stable, well-functioning and integrated system for the regulation of medicines and imported vaccines in an efficient, effective and transparent manner, to achieve Universal Health Coverage by access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicine and vaccines for all Nigerians.

In her welcome address, convener, NECCI PR Roundtable, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, noted that the pharmaceutical sector plays a pivotal role in safeguarding public health, alongside legitimate trade, a shadowy underworld of illicit activities, that “undermines our progress.”

Credit: The Guardian Newspaper.

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