The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Christiana Adeyeye, on Friday urged the public to report any form of illegal drug production within their environment.
Adeyeye made the call at the 8th Annual Symposium of the Health Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HEWAN), in Lagos.
The theme of the programme was entitled – ‘The Menace of Counterfeit Drugs, the Told of Regulatory Bodies’.
The Director-General who was represented by Mrs Abayomi Bolaji, a Deputy Director at the agency said that counterfeit drugs had many health and economic consequences on the public.
”Counterfeit drugs pose a public health hazard, waste consumer income, and reduce the incentive to engage in research and development and innovation.
”The result of the use of these fake drugs could be poisoning, treatment failure, untreated disease and death, ”she said.
Adeyeye said that the magnitude of counterfeiting were significant and required strong as well as sustained action from the government, industry and consumers to ensure zero tolerance to fake drugs in Nigeria.
She highlighted various strategies engaged by NAFDAC at eradicating counterfeit drugs the country which include sustained public enlightenment, improved collaboration with national and international agencies.
According to her, the agency also deployed capacity building of its staff, review of NAFDAC laws and cutting-edge technologies.
While condemning counterfeiting activities in the country, Adeyeye enjoined stakeholders and the public to join NAFDAC in the fight against the menace.
”One of the greatest challenges of the agency is shortage of manpower because Nigeria is a large and complex country and the few manpower cannot be everywhere.
So, we are calling on the public to blow the whistle whenever they discover any form of illegal manufacturing or production of drugs within their vicinity.
”Blow the whistle because most of these illegal productions of drugs are done in the night. We will ensure utmost confidentiality. NAFDAC will neither relent nor waver in the fight until the battle is won, ”she promised.
In his remarks, Dr Emmanuel Enabulele, Chairman, Board of Trustees, HEWAN noted that with collaboration, it was possible to sustain zero tolerance for fake drugs in the country.
He appreciated NAFDAC for the depth of knowledge shared with the journalists and expressed the belief that the relationship between the agency and the media would continue to yield fruitful results.