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NAFDAC reacts to 70 per cent fake drugs report

The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye said the Federal Government would pay more than N1 billion as compensation to the companies that had their codeine impounded more than a year ago.

Prof Adeyeye disclosed this on Monday in Lagos at a news conference to debunk a newspaper report that 70 per cent of medicines in Nigeria are fake.

She said that there were about 2.5 million seizures of codeine made across the country, adding that the government is working out compensations for the affected companies.

“It is about a year ago when the documentary about codeine was made which led to the Ministry of Health banning the product.

“Since that time, we have been having a series of meeting with many government agencies and committees such as National Security Adviser group, the Presidency and the Ministry of Health.

“The final point is that we recalled about 2.5 million bottles of codeine and then put them on hold. This is sad because some companies did not commit the crime.

“So we put all the codeine on hold including the powder that they are using to the syrup. It will cost about N1 billion plus to reimburse these manufacturers,” she said.

Prof Adeyeye said that government was already working on the reimbursement plan, adding that the agency is working round the clock to stem the manufacturing, distribution and use of substandard and fake drugs in the country.

On the fake news attributed to NAFDAC that 70 per cent of medicines in Nigeria are fake, Adeyeye said that the legal department of the agency would see to it.

She said that a study jointly carried out by NAFDAC, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Department for International Development (DFID) in 2005 revealed that fake medicines stood at 16 per cent.

She added that a survey conducted by NAFDAC in 2017 and 2018 on some widely used drugs showed that Nigerian medicines were 98 per cent wholesome.

She therefore described the report as “untrue and grossly inaccurate”.

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