Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Dr. Paul Orhii, has said the agency destroyed fake and sub-standard drugs valued at N1bn in 2012.
To also strenghten the fight against fake and counterfeit drugs in the country, the agency, he said, would close the Kano open drug market before the end of the year.
Orhii, who spoke at a workshop for the registration of Biosimilars in Lagos on Monday, said the market had been a haven for the circulation of fake and counterfeit drugs in the country.
He said, “At the beginning of the year, we had destroyed drugs valued at N600m and in the last quarter, we destroyed another worth N400m. All together, the agency has destroyed drugs worth N1bn in 2012.
“Many of these products are circulated in these open drug markets. To this effect, NAFDAC will shut down the Kano open drug market before December 31. We have observed that the market has a large percentage of fake and counterfiet products, especially drugs.”
He advised genuine drug manufacturers with outlets in Kano market to withdraw their products before the closure takes effect.
Orhii warned drug manufacturers to comply with the Mobile Authentication Service before January 2013 as defaulters would be sanctioned.
He added, “The SMS authentication system has put the power of detection in the hands of over 80 million Nigerians.Only last week, we had over three million Nigerians who had used the text verification system.
“Manufacturers must buy into this technology because any of the selected products manufactured this December that is supposed to have the sms verification system and is not doing so will be mopped up from the market.”
Some of the selected drugs, according to him, are anti-malaria and antibiotics.
Also, the agency released a new guidance document for the registration of biopharmaceuticals(biosimilars) in the country.
The NAFDAC chief said the document would provide both the regulated industry and the agency with adequate information on how to handle biosimilars.
He added that Nigeria would be the first country in sub-Sahara Africa to release such a guideline on biosimilars.
Orhii said, “The recent upsurge in biosimilars, following the expiration of patency of several innovators products has created an urgent need for the global development of new regulatory processes for this class of products.”
Also, the Director, Regulatory and Registration, Dr. Monica Eimunjeze, said although the World Health Organisation had provided basic principles of regulation regarding these products but the global document still had some grey areas.