Chris Steven, Abuja
Abubakar Jimoh, Director of Special Duties in NAFDAC, stated this in Abuja while responding to questions from journalists on the issue.
He described as reckless, misleading, displeasing and irresponsible the claim that 70 per cent of pharmaceutical products circulating in Nigeria are fake.
Jimoh noted that the assertion was a great disservice to Nigeria and that it tends to undermine the efforts NAFDAC and other agencies are making in the fight against counterfeit medicines in the country.
Jimoh recalled that in 2001, when late Prof Akunyili, former DG of NAFDAC came on board, many people were giving different figures of the level of fake drugs in the country. Some were saying 60 % while others say 40%.
He stated: “We then approached the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005 and we carried out what we called a joint baseline study on all category of drugs which was sponsored by the WHO in Nigeria. The result of that national survey showed that the level of fake drugs in the country was in the neighbourhood of 16.7 per cent.
“In 2012, NAFDAC then carried out a survey for all category of medicines using the Truscan nationwide and the outcome showed that the 16.7 per cent we got in 2005 has gone down to 6.4 per cent. We decided to do a survey to determine the circulation of fake Anti-Malaria medicines alone also in 2012 and we got 19.6 per cent.
“In 2014, another national survey on the circulation of fake Anti-Malaria by United States (US) Pharmacopeia was conducted and the result was 3.6 per cent.
“We are mopping up all fake medicines from the system. We have evidence both research- wise and scientifically speaking to show that there has been a downward slide in the circulation of fake and counterfeit products in the country,” Jimoh explained.