18 January 2018

Nigeria: NAFDAC to Commence Nationwide Campaign Against Fake, Substandard Drugs

The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC says it will in March this year commence a nationwide campaign against falsified and substandard drugs in Nigeria.

Stating this in a meeting with staff in Lagos recently, the Director General of the Agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said the campaign will start from six states of the federation, and would be aimed at sensitizing school children and people at the grassroots on the consequences of drug abuse and substandard products and medicines.

She said the Agency will no longer entertain third party purchase of equipment, even as she has moved to save not less than 200 million spent annually on travels and meetings by staff of the agency.

In what appears like a riot act in her nine priority lists, Adeyeye said all was set to align NAFDAC with international standards in medical product regulation to enhance quality testing of medicines and food. "After a tour of the Oshodi and Yaba including the Biologics laboratory in December, I realized that majority of the lab equipment pieces and instruments need repair or replacement.

"Almost all the equipment pieces and instruments including the partially installed ones were purchased from one vendor. No more third party purchase of lab equipment and supplies," she added.

Adeyeye expressed displeasure that a 810KV generator that was bought in 2014 did not work for even a day while another 1000 KV generator purchased same year never worked for three months with 2X 509 KVA generators.

Pledging that her administration would replace these equipment, she said already, laboratory services' oversight had been relocated to the DG's office for proper monitoring.

"We have contacted the vendor that supplied them. We are investigating what went wrong."

Continuing, Adeyeye said as part of the priority to build a functioning information communication technology, the agency is set to cut down traveling and meeting expenses of staff and channel the resources to repair infrastructure and purchase of equipment

Adeyeye explained that the agency would save at least 200 million annually from travelling and meeting expenses between Lagos and Abuja, if video conferencing is put in place.

"Video conferencing equipment should be installed by February 5, 2018. Already, three vendors bid have been evaluated and equipment will be ordered by January 18.

Regretting that effective communication was virtually non existence in NAFDAC, she directed that all staff of the agency must use NAFDAC.gov.ng for best practices with stakeholders especially overseas partners.

Adeyeye who further announced plans to launch a nationwide campaign against drug abuse and narcotics, substandard and falsified drugs among others.

Explaining that NAFDAC plans to fund Young Pharmacists Group, YPG, of the PSN,she explained that the aim behind the campaign was to sensitize school children and people at the grassroots on drug abuse and substandard medical products.

The Director General further disclosed that the campaign which is expected to commence in March this year, would come up in six different states of the federation.

The states are; Kwara, Anambra, Kano, Osun, Delta, and Lagos.

Adeyeye who highlighted some of the challenges confronting NAFDAC to include lack of funds, infrastructure and equipment, said parts of solutions to current challenges include giving attention to critical needs of the agency. "Many of the priority are budgetary in nature. I have redone our 2018 budget by moving monies to areas of urgent need," she stated.

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