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Intelligence crucial to monitoring drug distribution, says firm’s boss



The proliferation of fake and substandard medical products has continued to pose serious threat to global public health.

However, several collaborative efforts and guidelines have been put in place to intensify the fight against these product its manufacturers and distributors nationwide.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the proliferation of fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria has affected the credibility of the healthcare system, which have resulted in very harmful effects on consumers, leading to illness, disability and even death.

While the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) stated that Nigeria is the world’s largest market for fake and counterfeit drugs among developing nations of the world, reports revealed that 70 percent of pharmaceutical products circulating Nigeria are fake, as Africa records at least 100, 000 deaths yearly from drug-related ailments.

Although, the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) released in 2012, was aimed at checking and addressing the menace of these counterfeit and falsified drugs in the country and its citizenry. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, at a stakeholders workshop organised by the NAFDAC in collaboration with WHO said a good-quality medicine supply system was essential for healthcare delivery, as there is special need to prevent therapeutic drug falsification in order to safeguard against health and maintain trust in the healthcare system.

To address this unsatisfactorily chaotic drug distribution system of the country, experts have proposed a developing national strategy on detection and monitoring of these counterfeit medical products nationwide.

The Group Managing Director, Drugfield Pharmaceuticals Limited. Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo stated that to effectively eliminate fake and counterfeit drugs circulating the country, intelligence gathering must be put in place to monitor and checkmate such illegal activities.

He said most of all the fake products are imported and stored in warehouses by people with no fixed address and in remote areas to avoid been caught by authorities, adding that the country and anti-graft agencies must intensify efforts to monitor these activities.

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