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No more hiding place for counterfeiters of fake drugs, unwholesome products, NAFDAC vows. 

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AKOR SYLVESTER-Abuja

 

 

National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said it has doubled it’s effort in ensuring that the country is free from the activities of drug fakers and dealers of unwholesome and unregistered products.

 

This is as the agency has informed that it has discovered markets, outlets and areas where fake drugs, unwholesome and unregistered products are sold to the public.

 

The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye who briefed newsmen on the activities of counterfeiters and their new tactics in Abuja at the weekend, said the agency has commenced aggressive operation against the dealers of fake drugs and unwholesome products across the country.

 

She called on the general public to be vigillant and watch what they buy and consume, especially at this festive period.

 

While warning the counterfeiters to desist from the act, the Director General urged the general public to report to the agency any trace of the activities of drugs counterfeiters in the country.

 

” I am delighted to welcome and update you on the activities of NAFDAC in her quest to ensure total elimination of Fake, Expired, Substandard, Banned, Adulterated and Falsely Labelled Medical Products, other Unsafe and Unwholesome NAFDAC Regulated Products from circulation.

 

“The officers of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC and the Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods raided two warehouses at the TradeFair Complex in Lagos, where multiple cartons of banned drugs including 10 cartons of Tafradol (Tramadol 225mg) found.

 

” It is pertinent to mention that 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.

 

“Furthermore, 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.

 

“The banned and falsified drugs in the warehouses owned by one Chuka (Akuamia), who is still at large, is estimated to be worth over three billion naira (N3,000,000,000).

 

“Over 20 truckloads of the offensive products were evacuated from the two locations. The products were stored at temperatures above 40oc which ordinarily would denature some of the active ingredients and the excipients.

 

“Just last week Wednesday, (10th November 2021), the Agency arraigned one Mr. Afemefuna Udensi of Phini Pharms Limited, Onitsha, at the Federal High Court, Lagos for importing fake Tramadol.

 

“The defendant imported a fake version of the registered brand.

 

“Investigation also revealed that the fake drugs were imported from China.

 

“The Agency has also observed that some fake and counterfeit products are brought into the country through a system known as “Groupage”. This is a system where more than two persons load containers with different items from the country of origin. It is collectively cleared and distributed to the owners of the items.

 

“This system aids and abets counterfeiting. The Agency has found that controlled, banned, and unregistered Regulated Products are usually concealed and brought into the country through this arrangement”, the Director General said.

 

Continuing, the NAFDAC boss said the development led to the present effort of the agency to get rid of the unholy activities.

 

She said further: “In order to deal with the incidence of Food Fraud, the Agency is carrying out raid operations with tremendous success already recorded in the area of forfeiture of unwholesome processed cereals, beverages, and dairy products.

 

“In the nationwide raid which commenced in July 2021, seven (7) trucks conveying 4,578 cartons of various unlabeled, transparent nylon packed cereals worth over 60 million naira (N60, 000,000) were confiscated by the Agency.

 

“The sources of these various falsely packed cereals and dairy products cannot be verified and therefore NAFDAC cannot guarantee the safety of the products for consumption.

 

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

 

The Director General therefore warned the general public not to purchase cereal or other products that have been removed from their primary packaging so as not to jeopardize their health.

 

She expressed worry that infants and children were the target and the ultimate victims of what she described as wicked and evil activities.

 

The NAFDAC boss also said the agency has also commenced the raids of markets and supermarkets with the aim of mopping up unregistered NAFDAC products.

 

This, according to her, is in response to credible intelligence indicating that importers are smuggling into the country unregistered Regulated Products during this festive period.

 

She therefore enjoined consumers to ‘shine their eyes’ when making purchases of products and should not patronize roadside and street vendors.

 

The Director General solicited the cooperation of the public, corporate bodies, religious leaders, traditional rulers, health practitioners, the press and all stakeholders in the agency’s effort to rid the nation of fake and unwholesome products.

 

According to her, ” the counterfeiters are not spirit, they live among us and flaunt their ill gotten and blood money”..

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