NAFDAC seeks stiffer penalty for drug counterfeiters

Professor Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye

Destroys N5b unwholesome products in five months

Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has appealed to the judiciary to apply tougher penalties against drug counterfeiters.

She lamented that perpetrators of the illicit trade capitalise on weak laws to wreak havoc on the nation’s health system.

The NAFDAC boss, in a statement signed by the Agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, in Lagos, yesterday, spoke against the backdrop of the ongoing destruction of falsified and expired medicines, cosmetics, and unwholesome food products across the country.

She pleaded with members of the National Assembly to pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill to reinforce NAFDAC’s fight against counterfeiting in Nigeria.

She warned that, henceforth, there would be no hiding place for merchants of death who, according to her, derive joy in putting the health of millions of Nigerians at risk.

She said the Agency destroyed unwholesome medicines, expired processed food items, and cosmetics worth N1, 429,580,683.00 in Awka, Anambra State, in March.

In the same month, she said dangerous products worth N613,300,290.00 were destroyed in Kano. The Agency moved to Gombe in May and destroyed counterfeited and expired medicines and food items worth N515,732.587.

She said fake and expired medicines and food products worth N2,482,600,290 seized in the Southwest were destroyed in Shagamu, Ogun State, last week.

The NAFDAC boss said: “The operatives of the Agency combed the nooks and crannies of the five geopolitical zones of the federation to mop up expired drugs and unwholesome food products with a view to safeguarding the health of the Nigerian people.”

The destroyed products include drugs such as antibiotics, antihypertensives, antimalarials, herbal remedies, psychoactive, and controlled substances.

Food products such as spaghetti, vegetable oil, non-alcoholic beverages, sachet water, chocolates, noodles, etc., were destroyed as well as cosmetics such as creams, pomade, and insecticides.

She said: “It is proof of NAFDAC’s resolve to safeguard the health of the people and ensure that only genuine medicines that are wholesome are sold in Nigeria. The flag-off of the Southwest zonal destruction exercise is in line with our mandate and strategy aimed at eradicating the reintroduction of Expired, Substandard and Falsified (SFs) Medical Products as well as other spurious, unsafe, and unwholesome products.

“We are committed to eliminating SFs medical products, illicit drugs, unwholesome foods, chemicals, medical devices, and other products and will continue to find ways to rid the nation of all these.”

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