Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, has disclosed that the agency had confiscated fake medical products worth more than N5 billion in the last two months.
Orhii made the disclosure in Akure, the Ondo State capital at the weekend during the 37th International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) where he was honoured with an excellence award for scientifically tackling the scourge of fake drugs and also placing Nigeria on the global map as a country producing very reliable drugs fit for both export and local use.
The NAFDAC boss said that the confiscated drugs, including 244 containers of Viagra products, which could cause instant heart attack, were waiting to be destroyed in the agency's laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos.
Orhii, who sounded a note of warning to people dealing in the illegal business, pledged that the agency would not relent in its fight against "these enemies of the society."
The introduction of cutting-edge technology, Orhii disclosed, has helped in combating sharp practices in the health care industry, while adding that this has also drastically reduced the influx of counterfeit and fake drugs into the country.
He revealed that NAFDAC has, in recent years, taken its campaigns against counterfeit drugs to the international arena and also deployed technologies locally in fighting the battle.
Orhii said: "We are the first regulatory agency in the world to employ the use of TRUSCAN (a hand-held device) which, within one minute, detects the genuineness or otherwise of a medicine. This has significantly boosted our capacity for post marketing surveillance."
He added that the introduction of Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) has also provided a unique and secure authentication platform for medicines.
According to him, MAS has put the detection of counterfeit medicines in the hands of over 100 million mobile phone users in the country.