Nigeria intercepts fake drugs from China

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 11:17

Abuja: Nigeria`s anti-fake drug body has intercepted a consignment of counterfeit medicines worth USD 3.3 million flown in from China to Africa`s most populous
country.

The Director-General of the National Agency for Food
and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) agency Paul Orhii
said today that the monetary worth of the fake drugs was USD
3.3 million and it is considered to be the largest consignment
imported into the country in recent times.

"The investigation of the incident by NAFDAC and other
security agencies in Nigeria and China is still on," Orhii
told correspondents here appealing to people with information
to help the organisation achieve its aim of stopping import of
fake drugs.

He said the consignment of fake drugs came into the
country through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport ,
Lagos in the past three weeks and were brought in from Hong
Kong and China aboard Qatar Cargo Airline between 8 and 27
May, 2010 on five different flights.

Last year, NAFDAC discovered that a consignment of
counterfeit drugs labeled `Made in India` was actually made in
China.

The potentially harmful drugs could have been taken by
an estimated 642,000 adults in Nigeria but NAFDAC complained
to Chinese authorities and equally sent a delegation to India
to discuss about jointly monitoring drugs export and import.

Also a combined team of the parliamentarians and
anti-fake drug officials embarked on a five-day working visit
to China to discuss the issue.

Orhii later went on a visit to India where he held
consultative meetings with Drug manufacturers Association,
Indian Pharmaceutical Council, Federation of Indian Chambers
of Commerce and Industry.

In 2002, the World Health Organisaton (WHO) estimated
that 70 per cent of drugs sold in Nigeria were fake leading to
thousands of deaths but former director of NAFDAC Dora
Akunyili, who is the present minister of information raised
the ante on the war against the phenomenon and importation of
fake drugs reduced drastically to 48 per cent.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 11:17

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