Institute develops verification protocol to improve drug security
Director General, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, has said his agency’ s phytomedicines verification and validation protocol would bring about drug security in Nigeria.
Speaking during the document’s public presentation yesterday in Abuja, Adigwe recalled that when COVID-19 got to the country, NIPRD discovered that there were claims from various sources laying claims to valid ‘cure’ “but with no real science-led approach regarding how these claims came about or were validated.”
He said: “There is risk in taking unverified drugs. So, in engaging with the claimants, resources have to go into the real areas that scientific research needs to be carried out.”
The DG submitted that the document, which was developed by the National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC) on COVID-19 cure claims, focused on efficient and sustainable utilisation of local resources for self-reliance in pharmaceutical production and services.
According to him, the protocol contains guidelines for invitation of claimants, inclusion and exclusion criteria, ranking criteria, guidelines for interaction with claimants/traditional medicine practitioners, informed consent form, validation report form, as well as protocol for processing and validation of products’ claims.
He explained that while the document was formulated in response to the virus, its contents are generic and could be applied for the verification of phytomedicines in general.”
Adigwe added: “As part of our research and development response, the institute convened a National Scientific Advisory Committee to develop a standard Phytomedicines Verification and Validation Protocol. The committee was made up of 24 professionals among whom were 18 academic professors from different universities, research centres and international organisations across Nigeria.”
He observed that the protocol, first of its kind, was conceptualised by experienced professionals from rich research and development backgrounds.