Nigeria now witnesses the unveiling of an extensive database initiated by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). This pioneering system ensures that all drugs available for sale and distribution are duly registered and certified. The agency announced its efforts to eliminate the sale and use of harmful pharmaceutical items completely. The enforcement directorate took decisive action by disposing of about 135 truckloads of illicit, fake, and dubious products. Additionally, they responsibly destroyed expired and damaged items willingly surrendered by stakeholders. All of these products had an estimated street value of roughly N16 billion.
During a media gathering on Monday, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, unveiled the database known as the ‘NAFDAC Green Book.’ This comprehensive database consists of an impressive 6,432 registered pharmaceutical products. The Director General emphasised that this database would be readily available for public access by January of the following year. According to her, individuals from the general population have the option to access the website through their Android smartphone in order to authenticate the legitimacy of any desired medication.
More investigation will be carried out to eliminate unauthorised items.
Adeyeye, in her discussion about the recent Central Drug Control Laboratory (CDCL) prequalification in Yaba, Lagos State, done by the World Health Organisation, highlighted the strenuous efforts undertaken by her agency. She emphasised that starting from scratch, they meticulously built the laboratory, costing a substantial sum of ₦4.5 billion. The DG also took the chance to provide the latest information regarding the agency’s endeavours, particularly in tackling the issue of counterfeit pharmaceutical products in the nation.
She added that NAFDAC’s Investigation and Enforcement Directorate had been occupied with collaborative inspections, confiscations, and elimination procedures of illicit or unauthorised items. As per her, the Directorate destroyed numerous trucks filled with counterfeit, fake, and deceitful seized goods, along with compromised or expired products. Furthermore, she revealed that the organisation conducted numerous uninformed raids across nine different states in the southeast and south-south regions. During these operations, they seized counterfeit Diageo products valued at more than N38 million.
Nigeria has reached a 35% mark in domestic production of vital medications.
Furthermore, counterfeit products worth more than ₦200 million were also seized during a series of raids conducted in Lagos State and Abuja, according to her. Adeyeye further connected the increasing prevalence of counterfeit drugs to the country’s deteriorating economy, which she claimed was facilitating the production and circulation of inferior goods. She revealed that Nigeria has made significant strides in recent years, particularly in terms of notable accomplishments. She emphasised that the country has successfully reached a commendable 35 percent mark in terms of domestic production capabilities for vital medications.
With the Yaba laboratory being prequalified and NAFDAC putting in great effort to achieve WHO Maturity level 4 by the end of the upcoming year, she expressed a significant enhancement in the nation’s capacity for domestic pharmaceutical production will be witnessed. Adeyeye further revealed that the agency is currently grappling with difficulties related to the digitalisation of its system. In order to conquer these hurdles, the management has decided to seek aid from more advanced nations.
The workforce will also be increased from 2,000 to 12,000.
Lastly, the discontinuation of alcohol production and sales in form by January 2024 is part of NAFDAC’s upcoming plans. To enhance operations, she emphasised the necessity of expanding the workforce from 2,000 to 12,000. Furthermore, they are actively engaged in comprehensive training programs for its core professionals to ensure the preservation of high standards. The DG also mentioned that they are currently carrying out a step-by-step removal process for certain hazardous insecticides and pesticides.