The National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has destroyed substandard, falsified and expired drugs and other related products worth N400 million in Nasarawa State.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, made this known at the site of the destruction in Lafia on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise is a North Central Zonal programme comprising of all states in the North Central Zone of the country.
Represented by Abubakar Jimoh, the Director of Special Duties, Adeyeye said the products destroyed were made up of substandard and falsified medical products, unwholesome processed food products, cosmetics and other counterfeit unsafe NAFDAC products seized by the agency from manufacturers, importers and distributors in the North Central zone of the country.
“Also expired drugs voluntarily handed over by compliant companies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), trade unions, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and National Association of Proprietary and Patent Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) are included in this exercise,” she said.
According to the NAFDAC boss, the estimated value of the products destroyed is N400 million comprising drugs such as antibiotics, antihypertensive, antimalarial, herbal remedies, psychoactive and controlled substances.
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“Others include foods such as spaghetti, vegetable oil, non-alcoholic beverages, sachet water, etc. Cosmetics products include creams, pomade, etc, while chemicals include fake insecticides.
“The public destruction of these products will no doubt eliminate the risk of their reintroduction into the Nigeria market,’’ she said.
She said the counterfeiting of drugs and other products was an act of economic sabotage that also represents a serious threat to public health hence the importance given to the destruction of the products mopped from various sources.
“The present management of NAFDAC has taken proactive approach towards tackling this challenge.
The engagement of political, traditional and religious leaders in sensitising their members, subjects and congregation, respectively, on the dangers of drug and substance abuse particularly in Northern geopolitical zones of the country is yielding tremendous results,” she said.
She added that the agency would continue to aggressively pursue the goal that only genuine medicines and wholesome foods of the right qualities are imported, exported, manufactured and distributed.
“The destruction of these items today is a testimony of our resolve to safeguard the health of our nation. I can assure you that NAFDAC is doing everything to ensure that right quality medicines and wholesome foods are sold to Nigerians,” she said.
Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, represented by Hajiya Halima Jibrin, the state Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, commended NAFDAC for the effort put in by the agency to rid the country of fake products.
He said his administration would always approve destruction exercise in the state and support the agency in its efforts because the activities of the agency had to do with the lives of residents of the state.
“I commend NAFDAC for the good work done in the state and urge the agency to intensity efforts in mopping out fake, expired drugs and foods,” he said.
Abayomi Bolaji, NAFDAC North Central Zonal Director, said the N400 million worth of drugs been destroyed were mopped up from the six states in the north central zone with some willingly donated by some stakeholders and manufacturers.
“I appreciate the Nasarawa State Government for giving us the opportunity to hold the exercise in the state. I want to assure everyone that NAFDAC is committed to ensure that only safe, quality and standard drugs, food and wholesome products are produced and distributed in our society,” she said.
Bulus Mshelia, the state Director of NAFDAC, called for stronger ties between NAFDAC and sister agencies so as to effectively rid the state and the country at large of fake products.