Nigeria intercepts fake drugs from China



Nigeria intercepts fake drugs from China 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