Kogi Inaugurates Essential Drugs Committee

The Kogi state government has inaugurated a Drugs Monitoring Committee to ensure that good drugs are sold out and givien to patients as part of its determination to gurantee that basic drugs are available for quality medical service delivery.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Idris Omede who disclosed this while speaking at the inauguration of the 5-man committee at the state ministry of, Lokoja.

While inaugurating the committee, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Idris Omede stated that the committee has become more imperative now more than ever before for the accountability and sustainability of essential drugs revolving scheme.

He added that the state must shift from out of stock syndrome and parallel sale drugs and other consumables.

Idris explained that the concept of essential drugs scheme is to ensure that drugs are available, accessible and affordable and in the potent form for rightful prescription in dose form to the patients and client, stressing that the essential medicines list has been reviewed five times since 2010.

In his remark, the chairman of the committee, pharmacist Joseph Achem who spoke on behalf of other members commended the state government and ministry of health for giving them the opportunity to serve the state.

Achem pledged that the committee will be diligent, professional and ethical in carrying out the assignment without witch hunting anybody, while appealing to the state government to make adequate arrangement for an effective logistics to enable the committee to carry out assignment with any hitch.

NAFDAC Destroys Drugs Worth N139Million

The National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised the general public to stop patronizing hawkers of drugs on the streets and in buses saying these hawkers are merchants of death who pass on fake drugs to unsuspecting members of the public.

Director General of the agency, Dr. Paul Orhii said this in Abuja shortly before destroying fake, counterfeit, substandard, expired and other unwholesome regulated products.

Dr. Orhii stated that the proliferation of counterfeit and fake products has caused loss of confidence in the nation’s healthcare system, treatment failure, development of resistance, prolonged hospital admission and untimely death of some innocent persons.

He warned that there will be no sacred cows in the fight against counterfeiting of regulated products as the agency destroyed fake drugs worth N139 Million.


Canada’s Supreme Court strips Viagra patent from Pfizer

Canada’s Supreme Court struck down the patent on global pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer Inc’s Viagra erectile dysfunction drug on Thursday and opened the door to generic competition.

A box of Viagra, typically used to treat erectile dysfunction, is seen in a pharmacy in Toronto

The court backed an appeal by Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd – the world’s largest generic drug maker – which argued Pfizer had been too vague when filing its patent, which runs out in 2014 in Canada.

In a unanimous 7-0 verdict, the court said Pfizer had not provided enough details to identify the active ingredient in Viagra.

“Pfizer gained a benefit from the (Patent) Act – exclusive monopoly rights – while withholding disclosure in spite of its disclosure obligations under the act,” Justice Louis LeBel wrote on behalf of the court.

“As a matter of policy and sound interpretation, patentees cannot be allowed to ‘game’ the system in this way … (the patent) is invalid.”

In the past, Pfizer has successfully defended patent lawsuits from Teva in the United States, Spain, Norway and New Zealand.

“Pfizer expects to face generic competition in Canada shortly. The company … is disappointed with the court’s ruling,” the firm said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.

Company spokeswoman Christina Antoniou, citing commercial confidentiality, declined to say how much the Canadian Viagra market is worth.

Pfizer’s Canadian patent – which came into force in 1998 – was divided into seven parts and covered 260 quintillion different chemical compounds.

But only one of the compounds – sildenafil – was active and the court said the patent had not provided enough information to allow another company to produce Viagra.

“Pfizer had the information needed to disclose the useful compound and chose not to release it,” the ruling said.

“Even though Pfizer knew that the effective compound was sildenafil at the time it filed the application … it chose a method of drafting that failed clearly to set out what the invention was.”

LeBel – who said “wilful intent to mislead has not been alleged or proven in this case” – noted that Pfizer’s submission to the Supreme Court had offered no explanation for withholding the information.

Teva took the case to the Supreme Court after two lower courts in Canada ruled against it. No one at the firm was immediately available for comment.

Damien Conover, an analyst at Morningstar, said he expects the Canadian ruling to have minimal impact on Viagra sales in the United States, even though people are more likely to buy “lifestyle” drugs such as Viagra as generics than they are to buy generic life-saving drugs.

“But I think it’ll be a minor impact. I can’t say how much it will hurt (U.S.) sales, but it’ll be minimal,” Conover added.

Even Teva isn’t expected to gain much, said Kevin Kedra, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. “I don’t think this is something that will move the needle for either company,” he said.

Viagra is Pfizer’s sixth-biggest medicine, with annual sales of about $2 billion. Its sales have been crimped by competition from Eli Lilly and Co’s longer-acting Cialis.

The case is 33951, Teva Canada Ltd against Pfizer Canada Inc et al.

Illegal drugs sold via social media

A U.N. drug agency warns that illegal Internet pharmacies are selling illicit drugs and prescription medicines online and are increasingly targeting young people.

The International Narcotics Control Board also described North America as the world’s largest illicit drug market; parts of Europe as the homes of industrial scale cannabis factories; and growing poppy cultivation in West Asia.

Focusing on Internet pharmacies as a growing threat, a summary of the agency’s 2011 report cited the agency’s head, Hamid Ghodse, as saying such use of social media “can put large, and especially young, audiences at risk of dangerous products.”

The Vienna-based board urged governments to close down illegal Internet pharmacies. It also called on them to seize substances that have been illicitly ordered on the Internet and smuggled through the mail.

The organization noted “high levels of illicit drug production manufacture, trade and consumption,” with “vast amounts produced in all three countries” in North America — the United States, Canada and Mexico.

ransited through Mexico, even as an increasingly harsh crackdown by Mexican authorities is forcing some drug cartels to move their operations to Central America, the agency said.

It identified Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua as achieving the status of “major transit countries for smuggling drugs primarily destined for the United States” in 2010.

Cannabis was a major problem in Western and Central Europe, with plants “increasingly cultivated on an industrial scale, mainly indoors, and with the involvement of organized criminal groups,” the agency said.

“Europe accounts for the largest proportion of the global opiate market, and the abuse of heroin is the biggest drug problem in Europe in terms of morbidity and mortality,” according to the summary.

The agency noted “significant increases in opium production” in West Asia last year and warned that higher prices for crop growers in Afghanistan and planned cutbacks in international troops in the country “could lead to even further increases in production beyond 2011.”

It identified parts of Africa as representing a growing problem, both in terms of drug transit routes and of opiate consumption.

Cocaine trafficking from South America through Africa and into Europe “has emerged as a major threat in recent years,” the agency said, with criminals increasingly shipping the drugs in containers and commercial aircraft.

“Heroin enters the continent through East Africa and is smuggled, either directly or via West Africa, into Europe and other regions,” said the summary noting that authorities made “record seizures” of heroin in Kenya and Tanzania last year.

NDLEA uncovers illegal drug factory in Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency says it has discovered a secret laboratory in Lagos South West Nigeria where the production of methamphetamine is done illegally.

Addressing journalist on Tuesday at the drug law enforcement agency’s headquarters, the Chairman of the agency, Ahmadu Giade says two buildings used to perpetrate the criminal act at the daily times estate in Satellite town, Lagos have been sealed.

He said that three Bolivians, Yerko Dorado, Ruben Jorge and Hugo Chavez Moreno have been apprehended and assisting the agency in its investigation on the matter.

Mr Giade also says 41.15 kg of ephedrine, 4.8 kg of methamphetamine as well as other chemicals and sundry gadgets used in the laboratory including three vehicles were recovered while two brothers Solomon Uzoka and Basil Uzoka have been declared wanted.

Methamphetamine is a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and is usually taken orally or intra-nasally by snorting the powder, by needle injection, or by smoking.

It is a strong stimulant that affects the central nervous system.

A derivative of Amphetamine, it is highly addictive.

Long-term methamphetamine abuse has many negative health consequences, including extreme weight loss, severe dental problems also known as “meth mouth,” anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behaviours.

Other psychotic features include paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions such as the sensation of insects crawling under the skin.
Some of the street names of methamphetamine are “speed,” “meth,” “chalk,” “ice,” “crystal,” and “glass.”