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Health and Safety

NAFDAC NATIONAL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN: Partners With Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Stakeholders

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…On Prevention, Detection, And Response To Substandard And Falsified Medicine

The NAFDAC has Vowed to close down the sale and distribution outlets Facilitating the Spread of Fake Drugs, as It stresses it’s determination to combat the incidence of Substandard and Falsified (SF) medicines in the country,

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC has subsequently engaged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical products supply chain in its resolve to put an end to the menace and effectively safeguard the health of Nigerians.

The Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, at a stakeholders meeting organized by NAFDAC on Thursday, emphasized the need to explore how to combat the sale and distribution of Substandard and Falsified Medical Products within the supply chain, insisting that the Agency would not hesitate to clamp down on wholesale and retail outlets where fake drugs are dispensed for public use.

According to her, the engagement with Pharma supply chain stakeholders in Nigeria serves as a means of thinking together and putting in place a position that will represent or guide collective efforts and strategy to prevent, detect, and respond to substandard and falsified medicinal products, adding that the goal is to ensure that medical products in circulation are of the quality standard required and safe for public use. 

The NAFDAC boss noted that the high prevalence of SF in Africa is a major threat to public health, attributing this to the fact that regulation in the region is limited with about 10% of African National Regulatory Agencies NRAs having achieved ML3. 

L-R: Director, Laboratory Services (Drugs) National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Victor Abiola, Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director Post-Marketing Surveillance, NAFDAC, Dr. Fraden Bitrus Dasniyam, and Director Narcotics and Controlled Substances, Mrs Yedunni Adenuga, during the Agency’s engagement with the pharma supply chain stakeholders for input on the National Strategic Document on Substandard and Falsified Products in Lagos…on Thursday

Prof Adeyeye noted with dismay that this allows for poorly regulated manufacturers to supply their products in Africa where technologies to detect SF and track/trace are limited. 

She added that the menace of substandard and falsified medical products threatens access to safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines, undermining health systems and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage globally.

With the mandate to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale, and use of drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, medical devices, and packaged water generally referred to as Regulated Products, she noted that this puts a burden on the Agency to lead the fight against SF medical products in Nigeria and support efforts that will see a reduction in the prevalence of SF medical products both locally manufactured and imported. 

The DG explained that NAFDAC is not the only regulatory agency in terms of substandard falsified medicines, adding that the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) probably has more to do in the fight against fake drugs. 

She, however, relished a cordial relationship that exists between the two sister agencies, insisting that we must do this fight together. 

Prof Adeyeye explained that currently, NAFDAC is doing its best to fight this issue of Substandard and Falsified products, stating that the fight against Substandard/Falsified medical products is based on three broad thematic areas Prevent, Detect, and Respond (PDR). 

She said that NAFDAC operatives are not just going on the streets to look for substandard falsified medicines but also going after products that have been approved in Southeast Asia en route to Nigeria. 

She reiterated that 70 percent of medicines used in Nigeria come from outside which necessitated the establishment of a Pre-shipment testing scheme that has stopped over 124 products that were approved from coming into the Nigerian market. 

According to her, some of the SF medicines do not have content, some will not disintegrate, and some will not dissolve. In contrast, some of them have wrong labelling and all sorts of non-compliance, adding that the Agency is dealing with that now with the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

Prof Adeyeye further disclosed that most of the products stopped from coming into the Nigerian market have fake certificates of pharmaceutical products. Noting that it takes two to tango, Prof. Adeyeye opined that its not just India bringing substandard falsified medicines to us, it is us; Nigerians that connive with them to bring in cheap products at the detriment of lives in Nigeria. 

Furthermore, She disclosed that over 124 shipments have been stopped, adding that these are products that had been approved, that could have been in circulation in Nigeria for five years. 

So, if ten containers per year for one particular product or two containers per year should find their way into Nigeria, you can figure out what the consequences might be.

The NAFDAC boss, however, announced the berth of a new regulatory directive with emphasis on the source of raw materials used in the production process. For those that are registering new products, she said they must procure raw materials from approved sources like WHO Prequalified sources, FDA, or other stringent Regulatory Authorities. 

If you don’t source from a prequalified source, we will not register the product, she said. 

She, however, dispelled the news going around, over the alleged proliferation of fake drugs in the country, saying the proliferation news that has been going on is false. 

There is no proliferation of substandard medicines. We do a national survey, sampling of products using scientific methods from different parts of the country., she said, adding that the survey was done in 

2021 and 2022 for ant-malaria with a 10 percent prevalence level. 

We couldn’t do it in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. She explained further, If you live very close to the border where people come in and out the prevalence may be higher there. Thats statistics. 

The average is about 10%, she said, insisting that proliferation is not synonymous with shortage because the two words are now used together. The fact that we have a shortage of medicines does not mean there is a proliferation of substandard falsified medicines.

 The survey for 2023 is not ready yet. We will publish 2021 and 2022.

She noted that the Pharmaceutical Supply chain plays a vital role in ensuring that safe, quality, and efficacious medicines reach the end users, adding that there is therefore a need to foster complementary partnerships that will seek to identify lapses in the supply chain system to improve the chances of winning the war on substandard and falsified medical products in Nigeria. 

We have formal and informal markets. Do not buy medicines from the informal market. We do a lot of raids in Oke- Arin, Idumota markets Lagos, Onitsha head bridge where you can buy a product maybe 50 per cent or 80 per cent cheaper because of low quality, she added, the state of the economy shouldn’t be an excuse for people to buy poison under the guise of cheap products.

I enjoin you to sustain your support to NAFDAC to ensure that only safe, efficacious, and quality medicines are used in Nigeria. NAFDAC, as the regulatory agency is seeking the support of all stakeholders in the pharma industry and supply chain system to improve our chances of winning the war on SF medical products.

The Supply chain stakeholders made very useful contributions for input into the National Strategic document to guide our collective efforts towards combating the menace of the SF in the country.

The stakeholders present at the supply chain engagements include the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria ( PMG-MAN), Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria (ACPN), Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association of Nigeria (PWDAN), Nigerian Representatives of Overseas Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NIROPHARM), Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN), Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacist of Nigeria (AHAPN), Nigeria Army Medical corps, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), National of Veterinary Medical Association(NVMA). Others are different companies represented under PMG-MAN, APIN, PWDAN, and Niropharm.

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Health and Safety

Troops Neutralise 192 Terrorists, Apprehend 341 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

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Troops Neutralise 192 Terrorists, Apprehend 341 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters says troops have in the last one week neutralised 192 terrorists, apprehended 341 others and rescued 62 kidnapped hostages.

It also said a total of 122 ISWAP/JAS terrorists surrendered with their families.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a news briefing on operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also recovered 211 assorted weapons and 6,288 assorted ammunition within the week.

He said the recovered items comprised 128 AK.47 rifles, 26 Dane guns, 1,301 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 3,260 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,325 live cartridges, and 140 rounds of 9mm ammunition among other items.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 71 terrorists, arrested 143 suspects and rescued 58  kidnapped hostages during the week.

He added that the air component conducted air strikes on ISWAP/JAS terrorists’ hideouts and logistics hub, including their food processing unit in Kolleram village, along Lake Chad.

According to him, the Battle Damage Assessment revealed that over 30 terrorists, including senior commanders; Ali Dawud, Bakura Fallujah and Mallam Ari, were neutralised as well as their logistics were destroyed as a result of the strike.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 29 insurgents, arrested 53 violent extremists and rescued eight kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 62 terrorists, arrested 49 terrorists and rescued 36 kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch arrested 14 criminals and recovered cache of arms and ammunition as well as military accoutrements.

According to him, other items recovered are 620 parcels of substances suspected to be marijuana, 10 Yoruba Nation flags, eight mobile phones, and four handheld radios, among other items.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe had maintained momentum against activities of crude oil theft and recovered 792,660 litres of stolen crude oil and 117,070 litres of illegally refined AGO.

He added that troops discovered and destroyed 31 illegal refining sites with 99 dugout pits, 11 boats, 29 storage tanks, 192 cooking ovens and nine vehicles.

According to him, troops apprehended 27 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists, recovering five weapons and 162 assorted ammunition.

In the South-East, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operation UDOKA neutralised nine terrorists, arrested 11 violent extremists, rescued 17 kidnapped hostages and recovered weapons. 

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Health and Safety

Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

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Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

A joint security team deployed to Suru and Maiyama local government areas of Kebbi on Tuesday rescued two persons abducted by suspected bandits in the areas.

The operation was conducted by operatives of the Nigerian Army, NSCDC, DSS and vigilante groups.

Confirming the story to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, the Director in charge of the Security Service, Cabinet Office, AbdulRahman Zagga, attributed the success to the support of Gov. Nasir Idris in providing all the necessary tools to the agencies.

“Following the consistent efforts of the Kebbi Governor, Dr Nasir Idris in supporting the security agencies operating in the state, a joint team of security operatives on Tuesday successfully rescued two kidnapped victims.

“The operation was successful; we were able to follow the bandits from Giro forest to Boma and down to Zugu Liba forest where the victims were rescued,” he said.

The director said that the kidnappers could no longer withstand the security pressure, thereby, abandoning the kidnapped victims.

He explained that the rescued victims were handed over to the village head and the vigilante chairman of Zugu Liba village for them to be reunited with their families.

He called on the people to support the security operatives with useful information that would assist in effectively discharging their duty of curtailing the challenges of insecurity in the state. 

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Health and Safety

NDLEA Destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 Litres of Drugs in Lagos, Ogun

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NDLEA destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 litres of drugs in Lagos, Ogun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday in Ibereko Badagry, Lagos, destroyed 304,436 kg and 40,042 litres of illicit substances seized from parts of Lagos and Ogun States.

The Chairman of the Agency, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), said the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs was in adherence with court orders.

Marwa called for more public support for the ongoing efforts by the NDLEA and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“Though a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court, “ the NDLEA boss said.

The chairman noted that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types.

According to him, they include illicit drugs in solid and liquid states, as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.

He said the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the agency in Lagos and Ogun states, from January 2022 till date, especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

“To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055kg and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs.

“The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld,” he noted.

Marwa appreciated the traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs, as well as other stakeholders, who witnessed the ceremony.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr Olusegun Onilude, expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the NDLEA in tackling the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

“Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos State Government appreciates the NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs.

“The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried,” he stated.

Sanwo-Olu also commended the agency for taking the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) social advocacy campaign to schools and communities across the state.

“No doubt, NDLEA is working, and the state will continue to collaborate with the agency and its leadership,” he assured.

It was reported that Marwa on Monday in Lagos, announced that 50,901 drug offenders, including 46 barons, have been arrested in the last three years.

He also said that within the period, the agency successfully prosecuted and convicted 9,034 of them, as well as seized over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances.

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