Relocate to wholesale centres, NAFDAC tells drug marketers

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has urged open drug marketers to relocate to coordinated wholesale centres to curb substandard and falsified medicines.

 

The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, said this at a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

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Adeyeye said the chaotic drug distribution system in Nigeria has been a sore point for drug regulatory agencies.

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She said, “This disorderly chain of movement of medicine in the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the final consume, is inimical to the efficacy of pharmaceutical products and is the primary cause of SF medicines in circulation.

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“To eliminate SFs, the Presidential Committee on Pharmaceutical Sector Reform was constituted in 2003 to among others to develop strategies towards the sanitisation of the drug distribution system in Nigeria. The Coordinated Wholesale Centres is a product of the PCPSR. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate, is one of the architects of CWC and in full support of the centres.

 

“The PCPSR recommended the development of National Drug Distribution Guidelines as a key strategy to coordinate the drug distribution sub-sector and all operators in the open drug markets in Kano, Lagos, Onitsha and Aba were given December 2018 as deadline by the then Minister of Health to relocate to CWC, Prof Isaac Adewole.

 

“The NDDG gives a clear mandate to the regulatory agencies, Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, and the NAFDAC to ensure its full implementation and compliance by all concerned stakeholders.”

She noted that the CWC in Kano was the first to be built as part of ensuring proper regulation of drug distribution and sale in Nigeria and mitigation of SFs.

 

On February 16, Justice Simon Amobeda in the Kano Federal High Court ordered the open drug marketers in Kano to relocate their stores to Dangwauro CWC, located on Zaria Road in Kano state.

Sequel to this court ruling, NAFDAC and the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria embarked on an enforcement action on February 17 and 18, to cause the relocation of the medicine dealers from the open drug markets of Sabon Gari, Malam Kato, and Mai Karaimi to the CWC.

 

A total of 1,370 wholesale medicine outlets and packing stores were sealed in the three open drug markets.

 

“The judgement that the open drug marketers should move to the Kano CWC is monumental because the control of drug distribution will be better regulated and prevalence of substandard medicines will be mitigated significantly.

 

“Since the beginning of my tenure in 2017, the drive to mitigate SFs is one of the eight pillars of my administration, and the efforts that have been made led NAFDAC to the attainment of Maturity Level three of both NAFDAC and PCN. NAFDAC had seven modules, while PCN had one module (Site Licence) of the WHO Global Benchmarking,” she stated.

 

She noted that the court order will set the precedence for open drug marketers in Lagos, Onitsha, and Aba, as they should be ready to move into the CWCs in the respective cities as soon as such facilities are built.

“Having the CWCs in the different cities is also part of the activities of the Federal Task Force that is headquartered in NAFDAC but operationalised in collaboration with the states. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare will need to implore state governors and governments to please join hands with NAFDAC and PCN as part of the Federal Taskforce to support the building of the CWCs in other cities. A brief on this will be sent to the Honourable CMHSW soon.

 

“The medicine dealers should see this move to the CWC as a positive move for the survival of public health and as part of efforts to continue the fight against substandard and falsified medicines.

 

“Removing SFs from the circulation will make Nigerians healthier, and since only healthy bodies can contribute positively to the economy, it will make Nigerians wealthier and the economy better,” she added.

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