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NAFDAC seizes fake drugs worth N3B

By Charles Ozioma
20 November 2021   |   3:00 am
In its bid to ensure total elimination of unsafe and unwholesome products from the country, the National Agency for Food, Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC) has through its Investigation

DG, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye

Raids Supermarkets Ahead Of Festive Season

In its bid to ensure total elimination of unsafe and unwholesome products from the country, the National Agency for Food, Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC) has through its Investigation and Enforcement Directorate raided two warehouses at TradeFair Complex in Lagos where banned drugs estimated to be worth over N3 billion were found.

According to the agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, “multiple cartons of banned drugs including 10 cartons of Tafradol (Tramadol 225mg) were found and any strength above 100mg not registered is banned due to its deleterious effects on vital organs of the body such as the central nervous system and the brain.”

She also revealed that “1,200 cartons of banned Analgin Injection (2.5g/5ml), 2,200 cartons of banned Codeine in syrup, suspected fake 500 cartons of Azmal; Artemeter Injection, 534 cartons plus 300 packets of Biomal: Artesunate Injection, 188 cartons of Hydra and Black Cobra (silderzafil citrate 200mg), 198 cartons of Super Artesunate Injection, among others, were discovered and evacuated.”

According to her, the banned and falsified drugs in the warehouses were owned by one Chuka Akuamia who is still at large.
She noted that over 20 truckloads of the offensive products were evacuated from the two locations, adding that they were stored at temperatures above 40oc, which ordinarily would denature some of the active ingredients and the excipients.

The agency also disclosed that it has arraigned one Mr. Afemefuna Udensi of Phini Pharms Limited, Onitsha, at the Federal High Court, Lagos for importing fake Tramadol from China.

Adeyeye stated that the agency has discovered that some fake and counterfeit products were brought into the country through a system known as ‘Groupage’, which involves more than two persons loading containers with different items from the country of origin.

“It is collectively cleared and distributed to the owners of the items and this system aids and abets counterfeiting,” she said.

To deal with food adulteration, the agency said it began a nationwide raid in July 2021, disclosing that in the process, seven trucks conveying 4,578 cartons of various unlabeled, transparent nylon packed cereals worth over N60 million were confiscated by the agency.

The NAFDAC boss noted that the sources of the various falsely packed cereals and dairy products could not guarantee the safety of the products for consumption.

“During one of our operations, a suspect declared that the CocoPops, CornFlakes and Oats displayed for sale in transparent nylons were sourced from LAWMA waste disposal trucks before repackaging into transparent nylons.

“The public is hereby warned not to purchase cereal or other products that have been removed from their primary packaging so as not to jeopardise their health. The agency is particularly pained because infants and children are the target and the ultimate victims of such wicked and evil activities.

“We have also commenced raids of markets and supermarkets with the aim of mopping up unregistered NAFDAC products. This is in response to credible intelligence indicating that importers are smuggling into the country unregistered regulated products during this festive period. Consumers are hereby enjoined to ‘shine their eyes’ when making purchases of products and should not patronise roadside and street vendors,” she added.