The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, said yesterday that it had stopped more than 80 fake medicines made in China and India being shipped into the country by fraudulent importers.
He also revealed that Nigeria was to start vaccine production by the end of 2022.
The agency’s chief executive, Professor Christiana Adeyeye, who revealed it during a briefing in Lagos, also said the agency had purchased 40 units of a wearable device, worth 57,000 dollars each, to detect the quality and quantity of drugs in the country.
Adeyeye explained that as part of efforts to reduce the percentage of counterfeit products entering the country, agency officials visited 19 pharmaceutical companies in China and India, expressing regret that some of the products shipped to Nigeria had not never been tested as required by law.
She said NAFDAC had in 2019 read a riot act to manufacturing companies in India and China doing business with Nigeria to either come into line with the country’s list or quit. She said: “Earlier in my tenure we found loopholes that some drugs weren’t even tested before they were brought here, so in September 2019 we went there and declared a riot. that if they want to trade with us and you bring something bad, you’ll be in trouble. We had the list and we wrote the lists of what we expected.
“We went to over 19 labs in India and China, those that didn’t meet our list or specs we removed, one or two we found to be fraudulent we also removed.” Since March 2020, when the agreement was signed, we have stopped shipping over 80 products. A few times they tried to tamper with our permit, we caught them as port inspection is now digitized.”
This is how we reduce falsified substandard medicines.”
Speaking on vaccine production in Nigeria, Prof Adeyeye said the government had been working on local vaccine production even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are working day and night to ensure that by the end of the year we will start manufacturing our own vaccines, but that does not mean that we will fully develop a vaccine. The government also has a PPP agreement with bio -vaccines.
“While the government owns 49%, May & Baker owns 51% and it started a long time ago, but not just for the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.
She said Nigeria had been given the green light to start manufacturing vaccines, after the agency reached Level 3 maturation from the World Health Organization, WHO.
The NAFDAC boss added: “Again we are talking about local manufacturing of vaccines because NAFDAC has obtained the WHO level 3 maturation – ML 3 – and without that we will not be able to manufacture the vaccine. “
She said Nigeria was considering using a modular lab to start production, and this she described as a Good Manufacturing Practice, GMP ready lab.
“It’s like a mobile home already equipped. We also have human capital. We have people trained in biotechnology, virology, MRI technology and we can find them at the National Veterinary Institute. We have capable Nigerians who have been making vaccines for years. We have the vaccine ecosystem,” she added.
On how the agency was working to reduce the rate of fake medicines in circulation, Adeyeye said that NAFDAC conducted a survey with the WHO on the quality of medicines in Nigeria and found that some local companies in Nigeria were falsifying medicines. medications.
“We closed them for three months to deter others. They lost a lot of money in their investment, but it’s not good for our people. Most of their products had less than 100% potency, some were 70 to 80 percent, we shut them down.
“In terms of levels, part of the global benchmark is having a system where you can do risk-based post-market surveillance, when you have 1,000 products, you can’t just start testing 1,000 products. You will have risk criteria, it can be a sterile dosage form, an infusion, an injection or a medicine that can break down easily.
“The antimalarial was one of the most widely used and adulterated, followed by oxytocin used to induce labour. The study was carried out in 11 states, between the North and the South. We found that we about 9-10% tampering and this is the last we have now.
“We are trying to broaden the research to involve border towns as many activities take place beyond our borders,” she added.