NAFDAC Back At Borders To Monitor Imports

 

 

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) and with the active support of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Ministry of Transport has been returned to the seaports and borders.

According to the agency, this is to effectively control importation of unregulated products, falsified and substandard drugs, unwholesome foods, narcotic drugs and hazardous chemical substances and foods into the country.

NAFDAC said it received the notice on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in a letter dated 29th March, 2018 from the office of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as part of the PEBEC reforms.

In a statement signed on Thursday, the Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, said thousands of Nigerians have died because of falsified and substandard medicines.

He also noted that the development became even more necessary following a recently released documentary on codeine abuse.

He said: “Many are currently ill, most likely due to unwholesome foods, drugs and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances, such as codeine, tramadol,
pentazocine, etc. These are partly due to exclusion of NAFDAC from our ports since 2011. The recent documentary on codeine abuse brought more attention to the issue”.

He further stated that apart from the dangers posed to public health, drug abuse weakens and slows down economic and national development, as well as “increases the threats to national security”.

“The need for return of NAFDAC officials to the Ports and borders has been emphasized in different fora by the new NAFDAC’s DG but received a boost in the Communique issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser at the end of the National Chemical Security Training Conference in Abuja on 16th March, 2018.

The theme of the conference was “Towards a Secured Importation, Distribution, Storage and Use of Chemicals in Nigeria,” the statement noted.

The agency expressed gratitude to the Office of the NSA, the Chemical Society of Nigeria, The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), among other key stakeholders for recognizing it as a key player in the national security architecture,

It therefore, promised that with the help of Nigerian Customs Service, the Shippers Council and other sister agencies, it will “ensure that products that pose danger to the population are controlled at the point of entry.

“In addition, the presence of NAFDAC at the ports and borders will reduce significantly the evasion of payments of statutory fees for importation of regulated products, thus increasing the Agency’s internally generated revenue and that of the Federal Government,” the agency stated.

Codeine Syrup: NAFDAC Lifts Shutdown Of Emzor, Two Others

FILE PHOTO: NAFDAC Office, Abuja.

 

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has lifted the shutdown its earlier ordered on three pharmaceutical companies over the codeine syrup scandal.

The companies include Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industry Limited.

NAFDAC in a statement signed on Saturday by the Director General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, said this decision was reached after meeting of high-powered executives of the companies that were implicated in the codeine syrup distribution.

“The three companies cooperated with NAFDAC during the meeting, provided the needed documents, some of which are being verified. The shutdown of the three companies has been lifted and the normal company operations can resume. However, the companies have been given the following sanctions,” the statement read in part.

Adeyeye gave the directive for the meetings to be held with the companies following NAFDAC directorates – Investigation and Enforcement (I&E), Drug Evaluation Research (DER) and Narcotics and Controlled Substances (NCS) who led the meeting.

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NAFDAC had separate meetings with the companies – Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited and Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited in Ilorin, Kwara State, and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industrial Limited, Lagos.

The sanctions given to the companies ordered that all production of codeine syrup should be stopped immediately until further notice. It also instructed that an hold should be placed on the active pharmaceutical ingredient and the already made codeine syrups stands.

Also, all codeine products are to be recalled and the process verified through audit trail verified by NAFDAC.

“An embargo has been placed on new applications for permit or renewals for the importation of codeine as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations, i.e., NAFDAC will not issue any permit until further notice

“The companies have been charged with administrative fees that are commensurate with the respective violations,” the statement read further.

NAFDAC said a stakeholders meeting on the codeine crisis will also be held to develop a road map for the supply chain distribution and the future of codeine syrup manufacturing, in line with the Minister of Health, Issac Adewole’s pronouncements in his press release on the codeine crisis.

Codeine Syrup: NAFDAC Shuts Down Emzor, Two Other Pharmaceutical Companies

 

FILE PHOTO: NAFDAC Office, Abuja.

 

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has shut down three pharmaceutical companies over the codeine syrup scandal.

The companies include Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industry Limited.

Director-General of the Agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye in a statement on Monday said the companies will remain shut to allow for a full and comprehensive investigation.

Among the allegations levelled against the closed companies include refusal to abide by regulations on the distribution of certain medications.

“Due to insufficient evidence gathered and apparent resistance to provide needed documents during our inspection on May 2, 2018 at the respective companies in Ilorin and Lagos, respectively, it has become necessary to shut down all product lines of the three companies – Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited. Plots 3 & 8, Adewole Industrial Estate, Lubcon Avenue, Ilorin, Kwara State; Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited. No 405 Kaima Road, Ilorin, Kwara State and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd., Ajao Estate, Lagos.  This is to allow for a full and comprehensive investigation.  The three companies, therefore, remain closed,” the statement read in part.

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The reopening of the manufacturing companies according to Adeyeye will depend on the level of cooperation that is shown during the comprehensive investigation.

The statement added further that Adeyeye had earlier called for an emergency meeting with the PMG-MAN Executive to discuss critical issues relating to Codeine-containing cough syrup together with other controlled substances.

Also, a Task Force to be made up of NAFDAC Directors- Registration and Regulatory Affairs; Narcotics and Controlled Substances; and Drug Evaluation and Research. Members of PMG-MAN in the Committee included the Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, Fidson Healthcare; May & Baker PLC; and Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries was constituted by the DG.

“A team of nine NAFDAC officers (two from Drug and Evaluation Research – DER and seven from Investigation & Enforcement – I&E) and ten mobile police officers were sent to Ilorin, Kwara state on May 2, 2018 to carry out investigational inspection at the companies of the two different pharmaceutical companies that are licensed to manufacture codeine-containing syrup, and which were implicated in the BBC documentary,” the statement added.

A documentary by BBC recently exposed the addiction of some Nigerians, mostly youths, to codeine and reported the complicity of some pharmaceutical companies.

NAFDAC Is Denied Access At Ports Unless Invited By Customs – Adeyeye

The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye

 

The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye, has lamented that officials of the agency are often denied access at the nation’s ports unless invited by men of the Customs.

Adeyeye stated this on Wednesday while speaking on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, aired on Channels Television.

“I found out NAFDAC is not allowed to be at the ports unless we are invited by the Customs,” she said. “To me that is very wrong. Over the last three months, we have intercepted about 33 containers of Tramadol.”

The NAFDAC boss was speaking on the prevailing cases of drug abuse in the country, especially the consumption of Codeine among youths that make them wrestless.

She, however, reiterated the commitment of her agency in addressing the situation described by many as worrisome.

To Adeyeye, “Some were packaged as building materials but those containers were the ones we were able to intercept.

“They were intercepted at the ports – Tincan Island, Apapa and the Onne in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.”

Adeyeye, who is also a Professor of Pharmaceutics, regretted the addiction of hard drugs by most Nigerians, shortly after the Federal Government decided to clamp down on Codeine.

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, announced the ban in Abuja on Tuesday, as contained in a press statement by his Assistant Director of Information, Mr Olajide Oshundun.

In line with the decision, the Ministry of Health directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to stop further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations with immediate effect.

The minister said the directive became necessary due to the gross abuse codeine usage has been subjected to in the country.

Earlier, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced that Kano State was leading among states notable for abusing drugs with over two million users.

Codeine, a prescription pain medication used to treat mild or moderate pain is a drug which is abused by some youths in the state. It comes in tablet and syrup form and as the main ingredient in the prescription for cough suppressants.

Statistics by NDLEA said despite its efforts to stem the trend in the bud, two million bottles of codeine syrup and thousands of kilograms of narcotics are reportedly being consumed daily in Kano State.

NAFDAC Destroys Illegal Drugs Worth N80m

PCN Seals 397 Drug Stores In Abia

Counterfeit drugs worth over 80 million naira have been destroyed by officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC).

The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, who was speaking in Abuja, says the agency is working relentlessly to rid the Nigerian market of unsafe and unwholesome products.

Although the circulation of counterfeit drugs is said to have dropped from 19.6 percent in 2012 to 3.6 percent in 2015, officials of the agency are promising not to rest on their oars until drug counterfeiters are totally defeated.

The NAFDAC boss further noted that the support will be in the areas of surveillance and enforcement.

And after the speeches, the agencies boss and other officials started setting the goods ablaze.

This gesture according to some Nigerians will serve as a deterrent to those who are bent on carrying out the illicit trade of drug counterfeiting.

NAFDAC Reduces Registration Fee For Locally Made Items

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has cut down registration fee for locally made items by 50 per cent.

The move which is in line with Federal Government’s ease of doing business agenda aims to promote small and medium scale enterprises and grow the economy.

NAFDAC’s latest policy also looks to terminate agreements with fees collection agencies following the discovery of illegal charges under the deal.

The agency has also re-affirmed that waivers on its young-graduates business registration scheme remains intact.

Fire Razes NAFDAC Facility In Lagos

nafdacThe premises of the National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) located in Oshodi, Lagos state, was on Saturday gutted by fire.

The fire was said to have started from a generator and spread to a store.

The extent of damage done to the building however could not be immediately ascertained as Channels Television’s crew was not allowed access to the affected scene.

Men of the fire service from the Lagos State Response Unit were seen battling to put out the inferno.

A spokesperson of the agency however confirmed that the fire was prevented from spreading beyond the store.

Court Orders NAFDAC To Warn Against Drinking Fanta, Sprite With Vitamin C

Man Arraigned For Alleged Assault And Public FightA Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island, has ordered the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to order the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) PLC, to put a written warning on Fanta and Sprite bottles stating that both soft drinks are poisonous, when consumed along with Vitamin C.

The court also held that NAFDAC failed Nigerians by declaring, as fit for human consumption, products discovered by tests in the United Kingdom as turning poisonous when mixed with Ascorbic Acid (popularly known as Vitamin C).

In the judgment given by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, the court awarded a cost of 2million Naira against NAFDAC.

The court judgment was given in a suit filed by a Lagos-based businessman, Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited, against NBC PLC and NAFDAC.

Mr. Adebo, had in the suit, urged the court to declare that NBC was negligent to its consumers by bottling Fanta and Sprite with excessive levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives.

The businessman also urged the court to order NAFDAC to carry out routine laboratory tests on all the soft drinks and related products NBC bottles to ensure their safety for consumption.

In documents before the court, it was alleged that in March 2007, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Company bought large quantities of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and soda water from NBC for export and subsequent retail in the United Kingdom.

But when the consignment arrived the United Kingdom, health authorities in that country, precisely the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard’s Department of Environment and Economy Directorate, raised fundamental health issues on the contents and composition of Fanta and Sprite.

Findings by the United Kingdom Health Authorities were also corroborated by other agencies in European Union countries, which found the products to contain excessive levels of sunset yellow and benzoic acid, which are known to be carcinogenic.

On account of the irregularities and carcinogenic substances present in the drinks, Mr. Adebo and his company said they could not sell the Fanta and Sprite, this caused huge losses for the company, as the products were seized and destroyed by the United Kingdom Health Authorities.

The claimants equally alleged that NAFDAC did not carry out requisite tests to determine the safety of the drinks for human consumption.

In its response filed before the court by Mr. Tunde Busari, NBC admitted supplying the products, but contended that they are meant for local distribution and consumption, as it does not produce for export.

The company also denied that it was negligent, as it has stringent quality control procedures to ensure that its products are safe for end-user consumption.

NBC also rejected the allegation that the damages claimed by the businessman and his firm were caused by negligence or any fault on its part.

It argued that the levels of the chemical components in its soft drinks are safe for consumption in Nigeria and that the claimants are not entitled to the recovery of damages arising from their illegal exportation of products meant for local distribution.

NAFDAC on its part did not file any defense.

In her judgment, Justice Oyebanji said he was in absolute agreement with the claimants that soft drinks manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company ought to be fit for human consumption irrespective of whether they were to be consumed locally or exported.

He also held that NAFDAC has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and Sprite manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company.

The court then ordered, “That NAFDAC shall forthwith mandate Nigeria Bottling Company to, within 90 days, include on all the bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks manufactured by the company, a written warning that the content of the said bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous if taken with Vitamin C.

Gov Ahmed Makes Case For Local Herbal Medicine

Kwara, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Local Herbal Medicine, NAFDACKwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called for the incorporation of local herbal medicine into the orthodox medicine to reduce dependent on imported drugs.

Governor Ahmed made the call while receiving management of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), led by its Acting Director-General, Mrs Yetunde Oni, at the Government House in Ilorin.

He noted that researches from institutes and universities could be exploited and developed as alternative to western medicines.

The governor tasked NAFDAC to check the inflow of sub-standard and unwholesome foods and drugs, to ensure that only safe consumables are available for Nigerians.

He promised continuous support to the agency in Kwara State to enable it perform its statutory duties.

In an earlier remark, Mrs Oni assured Governor Ahmed that the agency would sustain efforts in ensuring that foods, drugs and chemicals billed for importation, exportation and advertisement were safe for human consumption.

She added that the agency was ready to work assiduously in Kwara State to check unwholesome and counterfeit drugs.

The NAFDAC boss solicited for support of the State Government in securing offices in Baruten and Irepodun local government areas of the state.

National Assembly To Enact Law To Strengthen NAFDAC

NAFDAC LogoThe National Assembly says it is ready to enact and amend relevant laws that will strengthen the National Agency for Foods, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in checking fake and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria.

The Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Services, Usman Muhammad stated this in Ilorin at the flag off of the workshop  on rational use of drugs, animal feeds, pesticides and chemicals organised by NAFDAC.

Muhammad particularly noted that the House of Representatives would continue to identify with NAFDAC in protecting Nigerians against consumption of fake and counterfeit drugs.

The acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni also called on stakeholders to maintain rational use of medicines in Nigeria, to ensure that only quality regulated products reach the market and ultimately, the consuming public.

She stated that, NAFDAC has adopted a holistic, multifaceted strategy which transcends local and international barriers in safeguarding the health of the nation.

These strategies she said included sustained public enlightenment campaigns, national and international collaborations, capacity building for members of staff and review of NAFDAC laws.

She however, implored Kwarans to buy medicines from only licensed pharmacies and patent medicines shops, promising to work in close collaboration with other agencies to ensure the rational use of medicines in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the representative of the State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed at the occasion, the Secretary to the State Government, Isiaka Gold advocated for stiffer penalties for manufacturers, suppliers and individuals found guilty of producing and distributing counterfeit drugs.

He however said that the activities of the individuals especially in the health sector have led to life threatening health situations and avoidable loss of lives, and urged the public to be vigilant while purchasing drugs and other related product.

Ahmed assured that the government would continue to support NAFDAC in its effort towards eradicating the circulation of products that are harmful to consumers.

He called on pharmacies in the state to ensure that they register and renew their licenses as at when due with the pharmacists council of Nigeria through the State Ministry of Health.

Osinbajo To Launch MSME Clinic In Kwara

MSME Clinic, Yemi Osinbajo, KwaraActing President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is set to launch a three-day Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic on Thursday, February 23 for viable enterprises in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Recall that Acting President Osinbajo commissioned the Aba MSME clinic on January 26.

Aba is the commercial hub of Abia State in southeast Nigeria.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau, Mr Segun Soewu, who made the disclosure in a statement on Monday, informed that the event would hold at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin by 10:00AM daily.

He described the clinic as an opportunity for MSME operators in the state to discuss the opportunities and challenges confronting their businesses.

The MSME Bureau boss added that business owners can also make inquiries about policies and regulations regarding their businesses from the Federal agencies that would be present at the programme.

He listed the agencies to include the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Export-Import Bank and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Others are Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Projects Development Institute, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.

Mr Soewu asked intending participants to contact the office of the Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau at the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives, Gambari Road in Ilorin.

 

NAFDAC Laboratory Gets International Accreditation

NAFDAC, Drug MonitoringThe National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has received accreditation for the testing of raw materials at its Southeast Zonal Laboratory in Anambra State.

The accreditation certificates were presented to the agency by the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) and the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC).

Speaking during the auspicious event, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, congratulated NAFDAC for the feat, but reminded the agency that the major challenge ahead was in maintaining the accreditation,

“It will be a major shame to lose it,” he warned.

Professor Adewole responded to issues concerning tariff paid on raw materials in the pharmaceutical sub-sector and maintained that he had taken up the issue to the Federal Government for immediate reappraisal to save the local industry.

The usually quiet premises of the South-east Zonal office of NAFDAC in Agulu, in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State came alive with sounds of music and presence of dignitaries from far and near including the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Nkem Okeke, the Minister of Health and the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Mrs. Yetunde Oni, among other important personalities.

They had gathered to witness the presentation of the certificates of accreditation for testing of raw materials in respect of 17025/2005 of the South-east Zonal NAFDAC Laboratory by the ANSI-ASQ International Accreditation Board.

The Acting Director General of NAFDAC told the gathering that the accreditation from the two bodies that promote standards globally would not only enable the laboratory to undertake multiple pharmaceutical testing tasks but stressed that it depicted that the South-east Zonal laboratory was competent and internationally recognised to produce valid and accurate results.

The representative of the Accreditation body, Dr. Jude Nwokike, pointed out that the feat achieved by NAFDAC was indicative of its competence in the pharmaceutical analytical process.

Rounding off the speeches, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State commended NAFDAC for efficient services, but decried the activities of fake drugs dealers and distributors in the state.

He highlighted the efforts of the state government in checking the menace.

The event is wrapped up with the presentation of the certificates to the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, an inspection tour of the Laboratory facility and a group photograph as a memoir of the special occasion.