HeadlinesNews

Manufacturers, Distributor Laments Fake Drugs Proliferation In Nigeria

Stakeholders in the drug distribution chain have raised concerns over the proliferation of fake drugs in the market.

This is just as the stakeholders, consisting of distributors, regulators and manufacturers, want the Federal Government to bring the unlicensed traders into regulation to curb the proliferation of fake drugs in the market.

The stakeholders made their position known in a media chat to commemorate the closing of a two-day conference held in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital.

Recall that the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, in 2022, said that over 70 per cent of medicines being dispensed in Nigeria were substandard.

The agency noted that the majority of Nigerians did not have access to quality health services.

Similarly, the Nigeria Customs Service Area Controller, Oyo/Osun Area Command, Dr Ben Oramalugo, on March 1, said the command intercepted fake pharmaceuticals comprising Augmentin tablets, Ampiclox and Amoxicillin capsules concealed in 53 sacks with a Duty Paid Value of N1,739,000,000.00.

The president of the Pharmaceuticals Wholesalers and Distributors Association of Nigeria, Ogene Ochuko, said the impact of fake drug proliferation on the citizens is enormous and it requires a clampdown effort by the government to curb the menace.

Ochuko also noted that the federal government can also bring the unlicensed traders into regulation to reduce the challenges faced in the drug distribution channel so that the end users of the drugs could be certain that when they go to purchase a drug, they would get value for what they are paying for.

He said, “The difficulties of falsified medicine and substandard medicine are impacting the health of Nigerians. We are seeking that the government assist the distributors in curbing and clamping down on fake drug traders so that when a Nigerian takes a medication anywhere in the country, they will be certain they are taking the right medicine. From manufacturing to wholesale and retailing, we cannot guarantee what they get.

“Access to quality and affordable drugs should not be a thing given to Nigerians but because of the way the supply chain is, Nigerians, though they have access to medicine, such medicine is not necessarily affordable and of quality. There are lots of other unregulated channels. The government should look into those unregulated channels, and find a means to bring them into regulation.

“We want the relevant authorities to support what we are doing because we cannot solve these challenges alone. We need the government, the regulators and all stakeholders to come together to address these challenges in the drug distribution chain.”

In his reaction, the president of Product Owners, Manufacturers and Importers, Adesanmi Popoola, lamented the open door market being operated in the drug supply chain which he noted has contributed to the proliferation of fake drug traders.

He stressed that there is a need for the government to enforce a legal framework that would provide for coordinated wholesale centres where that would serve as a market for drug traders to get their products.

Popoola said, “About tackling the open door market, this is a step toward reducing its impact, they have started in Kano by enforcing it with the federal government might and the law court, to ensure everyone goes to coordinated wholesale centres. If you find it outside the wholesale centre, you will be arrested and your goods confiscated. There cannot be a vacuum, you have to prepare a platform.

“What is making it difficult for pharmaceutical distribution channels to get it right is that the illegal traders have taken it as an article of trade, and they are making money from it. Once you start making money from any business, it is difficult to get it right, because if you sanitise it, the level of money/profit made is reduced.”

He stressed further that bringing the unlicensed traders to the regulation would ensure the monitoring of the distribution chain.

Popoola added, “The government can improve on the National Drug Distribution Guideline which has been in existence for years but is not being enforced because it is difficult to enforce without the force of law.”

Advertisements

Follow Lagos Post Online Channel on WhatsApp:

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker