Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






MAN, NAFDAC list challenges of renewed anti-counterfeit drugs war

Posted by By Babatola Adeyemi on 2006/06/19 | Views: 831 |

MAN, NAFDAC list challenges of renewed anti-counterfeit drugs war


INCREASED government's support to drug producers, which would enable them to further support the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control's (NAFDAC) renewed war against counterfeit drugs was on Wednesday canvassed by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN).

INCREASED government's support to drug producers, which would enable them to further support the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control's (NAFDAC) renewed war against counterfeit drugs was on Wednesday canvassed by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN).

Specially, the sector operators who spoke through Mr. Emma Ebere in his valedictory speech as chairman of PMG-MAN at its annual general meeting in Lagos urged the Federal Government to encourage the patronage of locally produced drugs.

"There should not be barriers in using made-in-Nigeria drugs," Ebere said.

Buttressing the above, Ebere stated as an example; "We expect government to start patronising local manufacturers of Artemisinin combination Therapies (ACTs) and Antiretrovival Drugs (ARVs)".

While lauding government's recent directive, which now exempts all pharmaceutical raw materials from Valve Added Tax (VAT), Ebere urged government to also approve zero per cent tariff on pharmaceutical raw materials.

The former PMG-MAN chairman, who also described government's import prohibition of some pharmaceutical products as a land-mark police, "which we must continue to defend and possibly extend to other products as we achieve sufficiency" however faulted the recently adopted Common External Tariff (CET).

According to him; "CET recently introduced, is not totally favourable to our sector in three major areas. One, tariff on raw materials was increased from 2.5 per cent to five per cent. Also, tariff on printed packaging materials was increased from five per cent to 50 per cent and Value Added Tax exemption on pharmaceutical raw materials is not explicitly stated."

Nonetheless, Ebere assured that the association would continue to support NAFDAC and indeed other stakeholders towards a strategic approach to the process of drugs regulation in the country and harmonisation of regulation in the sub-region.

The NAFDAC boss, who was apparently, appalled by the recent acquittal of the people arrested for an attempt on her life, said that some Nigerians seemed not to appreciate the enormity of the agency's war against counterfeit drugs.

Akunyili, who was a special guest of honour at the forum therefore urged Nigerians to support NAFDAC rather than do anything that could dampen the agency's enthusiasm, stressing that "stopping drug counterfeiters is a war."

She described the freedom granted her suspected assassins as an unpleasant development in the war against counterfeit drugs.

According to the NAFDAC boss: "The truth of the matter was that when the people arrested for an assassination attempt on my life were released, their associates in Onitsha and indeed across the country got emboldened, boasting and bragging that even if they kill, nothing would have happened.

The reports we were getting from other markets are also not encouraging. We are reliably informed that the fake drug dealers that were hiding two to three years ago have summoned courage to reappear with their drugs in the market, and generally making a laughing stock of those that are trying to abide by NAFDAC regulations. We believe this report because two to three years ago, Onitsha drug traders would not have dreamt of attacking our staff. They would not even dare defy our instructions.

She continued: "For example in 2003, we learnt that the drug sellers had cleaned all the addresses in the shops in Onitsha market so as to frustrate inspection. We called their executive for a meeting and directed that the numbers be reaffixed within two weeks. This directive was complied with, within ten days. Even those that were volunteering information including our paid informants have all vanished. They feel that we have been defeated. Most of the NAFDAC officers in Onitsha office are requesting for transfer for fear to their lives."

Akunyili then pleaded: "Today we are making a special request to PMG-MAN and all genuine drug importers to stop selling drugs to traders in Onitsha market. We also appeal to the good people of this country to stop buying drugs from Onitsha market."

And to further assist the agency's regulatory function, She said there were plans to make it obligatory for all drug manufacturers in the country to belong to PMG-MAN. "In about a month from now, we would have made a firm decision on that," she added.

The NAFDAC boss, who commanded PMG-MAN members for producing high quality drugs urged them to label them in English and French "so that you can register and sell both in Anglophone and Francophone countries."

He also advised them to upgrade their Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) to World Health Organisation Standard, to enable them compete effectively in the international market.

Akunyili, who stressed that NAFDAC's success is largely due to PMG-MAN's support, besides government's support also declared: "My dream is to eradicate fake drugs and create a strong regulatory environment for food and drugs so that we can seize not just the West African market but that of African continent."

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (3)

Gravatar
New
Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Gravatar
New
Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Gravatar
New
Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown