NAFDAC seeks improved synergy between India, Nigeria, warns against substandard drugs
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called for synergy between the Nigerian and Indian pharmaceutical sectors, with a view to providing access to medicines that are safe, efficacious, affordable and qualitative.
Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the call at the India-Nigeria Pharmaceutical and Health Industry Forum, organised in Lagos, at the weekend, with the aim of providing concrete steps towards birthing, actualising, and strengthening mutual benefits for pharmaceutical business in both countries.
She noted that prognoses for the pharmaceutical business in Nigeria and India, the population dynamics, and associated health indices provide common baseline for strong synergy between both countries.
Adeyeye said without any iota of hesitation, the indicators mentioned are reasons why the regulatory landscape between both countries must be explored for the good of the citizens.
In a statement by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, in Lagos, yesterday, Adeyeye also noted strong correlation in economic indices in both countries, which places them on the list of World Bank’s emerging markets, thus creating objective evidence and the need for mutuality and strong bilateral cooperation.
She pointed out that no single country, no matter how endowed, can meet all its national drug needs, and yet the universal health coverage within the context of sustainable development goals must be achieved.
She said one mechanism for meeting essential drug need is a proposition for mutually beneficial cooperation among regulatory agencies.
According to her, Nigeria was a huge beneficiary of this during the last global pandemic, when a substantial quantity of COVID-19 vaccines was obtained from Serum Institute India. She said this was made possible through active intervening role of the India National Regulatory Authority NRA (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
As a responsible national regulatory agency, Adeyeye said NAFDAC would continue to forge meaningful alliance within the confines of its mandate, relevant legislations, and in line with global best practices.
As a ML3 agency, she said NAFDAC is strongly averse to unethical practices and would not fail to protect public health through enforcement of appropriate sanctions when and where the need arises.
She warned that a situation where unscrupulous persons or manufacturers, under the guise of convergence and cooperation, knowingly or unknowingly, engage in clandestine practices that violate extant regulations, which constitute significant risks to public health, would not be treated with kid gloves.