25 July 2017

Nigeria: No 'Killer' Anti-Malaria Medicines in Nigeria - NAFDAC

Photo: Premium Times
(file photo).

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), says there are no "killer" Anti-Malarial medicines in Nigeria.

Dr. Yetunde Oni, Acting Director-General, NAFDAC, made the disclosure at a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday.

The meeting was prompted by the list of 42 banned anti-malaria medicines, released by the Senate and said to be in circulation in hospitals and pharmacies and consumed by Nigerians.

According to report, the medications have been banned in Europe but were still in the Nigerian market.

Oni said, "We want to douse the tension and correct the misinformation on the social and mainstream media about the 42 Anti-Malarial medicines purportedly banned by the European Union but allegedly circulating in the country.

"It is pertinent to mention that the allegedly banned anti-malarial medicines are oral monotherapies containing single Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) such as Artesunate as contained in Arinate tablet.

"Others are Amodiaquine as contained in Camoquine, Dihydroartemisinin contained in Alaxin tablet and Pyrimethamine contained in Daraprim tablet."

She advised Nigerians to use Artemisin Combination Therapies (ACTs) as they were the WHO's recommended anti-malarial drugs.

"I wish to state categorically that these anti-malarial monotherapies are not recommended for treatment of malaria in Nigeria.

"The recommended anti-malarial medicines for treatment of malaria in Nigeria are Artemisin Combination Therapies (ACTs).

"The use of ACTs in the treatment of malaria is in line with the guidelines for the treatment of malaria, 3rd Edition, World Health Organisation 2015, Geneva Switzerland.

"The Nigeria National Anti-Malarial Treatment Policy, February 2005 supports the use of ACTs.

"Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) is also a combination of anti-malarial medicine recommended by both WHO and the Nigeria National Anti-Malarial Treatment Policy for the Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) of malaria."

She advised Nigerians to look out for scratch and text techniques on anti-malarial drugs before purchase.

"Every anti-malarial drug should have an authentication scratch and text techniques, it is the first line of checking the quality of the medicine.

"When you scratch and text, information comes back to you immediately, giving the status of that particular anti-malarial medicine."

According to the NAFDAC boss, the agency is working tirelessly to safe guard the health of Nigerians.

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