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Technology, Surveillance, and Cooperation Make Nigeria’s Fake Drug Busts Successful

Nigeria has reported a drop in counterfeit medicines from 40% to 5% as a result of a combined effort between local and international law enforcement, as well as increased surveillance and the use of new anti-counterfeiting technology.

Nigeria has reported a drop in counterfeit medicines from 40% to 5% as a result of a combined effort between local and international law enforcement, as well as increased surveillance and the use of new anti-counterfeiting technology.

Dr. Paul Orhii, Director-General of Nigeria’s NAFDAC, reviewed the past two years of NAFDAC’s achievements in an interview with Newswatch.

Orhii reviewed the state of fake drug surveillance and interception in Nigeria saying that he has built on the success of Dora Akunyili, the previous Director-General. She had reduced the incidences of fake drugs from more than 40% of the market to 17%. Orhii continued the growth, now counting success at a 5% penetration of fake drugs in the Nigerian market, reports Newswatch.

The increase in safety has been as a result of greater surveillance of the drug importation process, the use of handheld spectrometers to verify drug authenticity in the market, the continuation of public awareness campaigns, modernizing test laboratories , implementing a text messaging medicine verification system and working closely with the international law enforcement community through IMPACT, the International Medicines Products Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force.

Orhii is proud of the new technology he has brought to Nigeria, “Using this technology, we have been able to detect, intercept fake medicines at our airports, and to burst the fake drug syndicates that bring fake drugs from China. Now, with the device, we can immediately detect what the medicine contains. And in most cases, we discovered that even anti-malaria drugs, instead of containing the active pharmaceutical ingredients, contain just corn starch.“

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