Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says the agency is working with Chinese and Korean agencies to ensure that imported drugs are safe for Nigerians.
Prof. Adeyeye gave the assurance on Wednesday at the University of Jos public lecture which she delivered on ‘Drug Security and National Development: Prospects and Challenges’. Adeleye was speaking against the backdrop of recent reports, alleging that some drugs from China were made of human parts and were imported into Nigeria.
She said that the agency immediately contacted the Chinese and Korean agencies to verify the claims. Adeyeye stated that there was nothing of sort but they have what is called ‘placenta homonense’ used as oral medicine. According to her, they have been using the drug in south east Asia for a long time .
“They said that the drug cures one ailment or the other and that it is a biological material, “But we told them that what was good for the Asians may not be good for the Africans because we have different genetic dispositions.
“And they said that they produce the drug in thousands, usually drugs are produced in millions of doses. Very likely the drug is sold as traditional medicine for them,” she explained. The DG said that the agency was rolling out a pharmacovigilance/post-marketing surveillance and drug security scheme nation-wide for inspection of open markets and community pharmacy practice sites.
Adeyeye said it would contribute greatly to minimising substandard and fake drugs, unregistered products, chemicals, and illicit drugs, as well as strengthening maintenance of drug security.
“In addition, NAFDAC is reviewing its regulation on imported drugs to avoid substandard and fake drugs through a systemic monitoring of drugs throughout the product lifecycle,” she added. Prof. Sebastian Maimako, the Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, appreciated the guest lecturer for the presentation. Maimako presented some souvenirs to the DG as a mark of appreciation.
The Director-General of NAFDAC in her commitment to Food Safety and Nutrition in Nigeria attended the 41st session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in Rome, from 2nd to 6th July 2018. CAC is the central part of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) Food Standards Programme and was established by FAO and WHO (agencies of United Nations) to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.
The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally adopted Food Standards and related texts presented in a uniform manner. These Food Standards and related texts aim at protecting consumers’ health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade. This is consistent with NAFDAC’s mandate, which includes among others, to regulate and control importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food.
The CODEX meeting, which adopted new food standards, is a gathering of top food scientists and regulators from around the world and includes other interested organisations, some participating as observers. On behalf of Nigeria, the Director-General made several positive interventions (scientific contributions) on agenda items being discussed during the meeting.