WHO, NAFDAC partner on eradicating fake drugs WHO, NAFDAC partner on eradicating fake drugs
The Federal Government has introduced drug Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWCs) to check the menace of fake and falsified medical products in the country even... WHO, NAFDAC partner on eradicating fake drugs

The Federal Government has introduced drug Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWCs) to check the menace of fake and falsified medical products in the country even as it warned that by end of December next year, all open drug markets will be shut.

Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole stated this in Lagos during a stakeholders workshop organised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The workshop was themed, “The prevention, detection and response of substandard and falsified medical products.”

Prof Adewole said the new measures were designed to allow drugs to be sourced directly from the importers or manufacturers down to the end users instead of buying drugs from the open drug markets.

According to him, the federal Ministry of Health had already developed National Drug Distribution Guidelines, NDDG, in 2012 to address the unsatisfactory chaotic drug distribution system of the country.

He said coordinated wholesale centres to accommodate open market medicines sellers have been approved and are being developed in Lagos, Onitsha, Aba and Kano and CWCs will commence operation by January 1st 2019. Adewole observed that medicine is an important component of healthcare delivery service and without the infusion of medicines; the health care service delivery system of a nation is sterile.

Prof Adewole said: “A good-quality medicine supply system is essential for healthcare delivery. There is a special need to prevent therapeutic drug falsification in order to safeguard against health and maintain trust in healthcare system. The overall scale of trading in medicine and the resultant harm done to global health has not been adequately accessed.”

Acting Director-General of NAFDAC, Mr. Ademola Mogbojuri, said the public health implications of substandard and falsified medical products are dire and this includes treatment failure, high treatment cost, development of resistance, loss of confidence in the healthcare providers and healthcare system and may ultimately, result in fatality and death.”

Mr. Mogbojuri raised the alarm that the problem of faking has become a serious threat to global public health. He added that the fight against this nefarious act requires sustained action by both governmental and non governmental bodies. “Single and isolated interventions cannot address the issue of substandard falsified medical products. I call for coordinated actions with international organisations to reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of the ugly menace.”

The Acting Director-General said WHO established member states mechanism on substandard, spurious falsely labeled, falsified and counterfeit medical products following its resolution 65:19 in May, 2012 to promote public health, and access to affordable, safe, efficacious and quality medical product, across the globe.

Declaring the workshop open, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode who noted that the number of lives lost as a result of substandard medical product in the market was alarming blamed the unacceptable situation to weakness of regulatory bodies charged with the responsibility of nipping the act in the bud.

Ambode said the capacity building workshop on prevention, detection and response to substandard and falsified medical products would improve the effectiveness of measures that have been put in place to achieve these objectives.

He said: “It is important to emphasise that this fight must be holistic in terms of participation by all relevant government agencies including custom service standard organisation of Nigeria and the Nigeria police among others.

”Our efforts must also focus on identifying the sources of these products with a view to ensuring that they do not find their way into the market.”

Nurudeen Adegbenro