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NAFDAC Implements Traceability Tech to Combat Substandard Drugs Amid Soaring Costs

To stop dishonest individuals from exploiting the current expensive medication situation in the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) revealed plans to use traceability technology to monitor the drug supply chain, preventing the production and distribution of low-quality medicines.

NAFDAC’s Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this announcement during a webinar hosted by The Cable Newspaper, focused on tackling medication costs.

She warned potential makers of substandard drugs that the agency is vigilant and conducts regular inspections, even of local manufacturers.

“Our work is 24/7 in terms of regulation and control of SF medicines. We do unannounced inspections of local manufacturers. Since, February 16 and 17 this year we went after the Open Drug marketers because some of the unscrupulous manufacturers or importers use the open market as a haven for substandard falsified medicines.

“We will be using Traceability technology to monitor the supply chain,” a statement on Sunday by Sayo Akintola, NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant quoted Adeyeye as saying.

Adeyeye emphasized that NAFDAC is at the forefront in Africa and second globally in utilizing Track and Trace technology. She assured Nigerians that efforts are underway, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, to reduce medication prices, with a focus on rejuvenating local pharmaceutical production.

She explained that the devaluation of the Naira significantly contributes to the high cost of local production, as importing raw materials and equipment becomes more expensive. Adeyeye also outlined policy changes aimed at promoting local manufacturing, such as restricting the importation of certain drugs.

Additionally, she mentioned initiatives to encourage local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), highlighting ongoing efforts by companies like EMZOR and Fidson. However, Adeyeye stressed the need for strengthened regulations to support local API manufacturing.

“I told the industry operators that we need to start making some APIs locally and that has resulted in EMZOR almost completing their facilities in Shagamu. They are going to be making four anti-malaria APIs sulfadoxime, Pyrimethamine, Artemether and Lumefantrine. The Fidson consortium is also planning manufacturing some APIs. The DG said the initiative was aimed at reducing the cost of drugs eventually.

“But we cannot start manufacturing locally without strengthening the regulations because we have never regulated local manufacturing of APIs,” Adeyeye said.



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