NAFDAC calls for stiffer sanctions on fakers, destroys N2.8b products
Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, has urged the judiciary to apply stiffer sanctions to deter counterfeiters.
The DG stated this just as the agency destroyed 189 truckloads of banned, expired, substandard and falsified medical products as well as unwholesome processed foods and cosmetics worth N2.8 billion.
The destruction is the largest in the history of NAFDAC, according to the agency.
Adeyeye said drug counterfeiters would continue to pose great danger to the society and all consumers of their dangerous products, in the absence of stiffer actions.
She said the agency had taken many strides in the fight against counterfeiting in Nigeria to ensure it meets up with the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, which seeks to ensure that the health of Nigerians is safeguarded.
According to her, tramdol has always occupied the larger part of the products destroyed by the agency, which she said could destroy young lives, families and the nation’s economy.
Adeyeye also warned against the circulation and abuse of Diclofenac Sodium tablet, which she said is used for inflammation and pains, noting that when abused it could cause liver damage and excessive bleeding.
She, however, called for the passage of the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill, which would strengthen the agency’s fight against counterfeiting in the country, and more collaboration from the Nigeria Customs Service, National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the police in tracking counterfeiters and freeing Nigeria from life damaging products.
“It is pertinent to mention that the fight is capital-intensive and we need the support of states, councils and all credible and responsible corporate bodies to help us win this war,” she appealed.
While giving account of the arrests and prosecutions made by the agency through the courts, NAFDAC Director, Investigation and Enforcement, Kingsley Ejiofor, described the sanction and penalty meted to counterfeiters as slap on the wrist.
He vowed the agency would work closely with all stakeholders and partner law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book with stiffer sanctions that will deter them and others intending to join the illegal business.