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NAFDAC, Pharmacists Groups fight fake drugs

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Collaborative efforts by the agencies in Kwara State to improve drug conditions.

Kwara State chapter of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has announced its intention to work in conjunction with the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as well as the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) in an effort to tackle the problem of fake and low-quality medicines in the state. Although it is not within society’s purview to enforce relevant aspects of the law on illicit drug production and impose punishments on perpetrators, the group stressed that it would not relent until all illegal drugs were eradicated from the state.

Pharmacist Mohammed Baba Abdulmalik, who was recently elected to the position of state Chairman of PSN, made this statement in an interview with Journalists on the sidelines of his electoral triumph in Ilorin. While his opponent, Pharmacist Joseph Oladele Ole, received 82 votes, Abdulmalik received 102, making him the new state chairman of PSN. He stated that NAFDAC serves as their regulatory agency, and they are currently working. Enforcement of laws against counterfeit medications falls under its purview, not mainly theirs.

Counterfeit medications and products will be wiped out.

He added that members of the organisation also work with NAFDAC, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), and the Federal Ministry of Health. They routinely conduct inspections of businesses in these sectors in an effort to root out anyone who could try to sell counterfeit medications or other products that haven’t been properly registered. NAFDAC will issue a fine if they discover that a business is selling unapproved medications. However, there is a limit to what they can do on that issue at the level of their organisation. They will back these groups and any others that want to combat counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

The PSN chairman, who is also the Head of Pharmacy at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Kwara State Budo-Egba, Asa Local Government Area, lamented the prevalence of drug abuse nevertheless cleared his network’s members of any involvement in the illegal drug trade. According to Abdulmalik, no respectable registered pharmacist would knowingly sell an illegal medicine to a customer. Abusers could potentially obtain these dangerous drugs from patent medication, vendors, or street-side quacks and peddlers. Therefore, a licenced pharmacist who is familiar with the side effects of medications and poisons will not provide patients or potential users with illegal substances.

PSN seeks to be financially independent to pursue its goal.

With the goal of making society less reliant on assistance, the PSN chairman stated his administration would aggressively seek revenue creation through the development of a bottled water corporation, transport industry, and agriculture. Since the association has traditionally relied on donations from philanthropists, benefactors, well-wishers, or those who just want to donate to the association, it has been extremely challenging for them to raise revenue over the years. But he has considered what he may do on his own to make them financially independent so that they can pursue whatever large-scale enterprises they choose.

People will observe that they have a borehole that is approximately 200 metres deep if they go to their secretariat. They have a large office space, and he has informed his staff that they are going to set up a small bottled water production there in the secretariat. If a person sees the name of a pharmacist on the label of any bottled water, they will instinctively feel as though they can trust the water. Because of this knowledge, they will be aware that such water is safe for consumption. They hope to accomplish some of this as well.

Revenue will also be generated from Transportation and farming.

They plan to collaborate with any of the Ilorin transportation providers. They can buy a vehicle, hand it over to them in working order under the terms of a contract, and receive guaranteed monthly repayments. This is an additional revenue stream. The previous administration also initiated and developed initiatives such as farmlands. It is now being used for planting purposes. Because he has planted cash crops like cassava and grains, he will be able to help out a little bit when harvest time rolls around. He is confident that once harvesting begins, the group’s finances will improve, and its membership will grow.

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