NAFDAC impounds N10.5m materials for packaging fake drugs

By: Chioma Umeha

The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said recently, that it had intercepted packaging materials worth N10.5 million intended for fake products manufacturers. 

The Director-General of the agency, Dr Paul Orhii, who said this at a news conference, observed that counterfeiters had devised another means by importing packaging materials rather than the finished products. His words: “Two large packages of 20,000 units of fake NGC Codeine bottle caps worth about N5 million imported by Kaba and Kachi cleared by Gojeb Global Resources were intercepted by vigilant PID officers, the packaging material which is an anti-tussive/analgesic product was imported with the intention of faking codeine syrup. He continued: “Three packages containing 15,000 pieces of packaging materials for the manufacture of fake Olay carrot lightening shower cream, 15,000 pieces of packaging material for the manufacture of fake Olay Goat milk lightening shower cream and 5,000 piece of packaging material for the manufacture of fake Avon perfume body spray with an estimated market value of N4.5 million  was intercepted. 

Paul Orhii (Director-General, NAFDAC)
The NAFDAC boss also said: “One Mr Osita Mbakwe imported four packages of packaging materials for the manufacture of fake Sure White lightening shower cream. The product which has an estimated market value of N1 million was intercepted at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, NAHCO cargo.’’ Orhii said recent discovery had revealed that the success in stopping the importation of finished counterfeit medicines had forced counterfeiters to now operate by importing packaging materials. “They have shifted from shipment of container loads of counterfeit drugs through the seaports to clandestine importation of small and portable packages of counterfeit drugs through airports that can easily evade the eagle eyes of law enforcement agencies,” he said. Orhii said the agency would look out for illegal counterfeit drug production sites and then take decisive steps to nip them in the bud. 

He called on Nigerians to be vigilant and report to the agency any clandestine and murderous production sites for quick action, saying: “Any counterfeiter arrested will be prosecuted speedily in accordance to the extant laws. “Landlords of warehouses stocked with counterfeit products and other substandard regulated products will henceforth be arrested and prosecuted as accomplices,’’ Orhii said. Orhii said the agency also intercepted rabies vaccine injection and tetanus vaccine injection totaling 47,091 packs with an estimated market value of N3 million. He said the vaccine was for vaccination against rabies and tetanus and was illegally imported in an inappropriate storage condition, which could have affected the potency of the vaccine. Other interceptions included that of 0.25g of Amoxycillin capsules and PSKL Herbal tea in two large packages, with an estimated market value of N1.5 million. The director said the fake herbal tea products had been implicated in certain disease conditions of the liver and kidney. He said the agency was determined to achieve the zero tolerance target for counterfeit drugs and other unwholesome regulated products.

This story was published in Newswatch Times on June 15, 2013.


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