The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) revealed on Monday that more than half of the certificates of pharmaceutical products imported into Nigeria are fake.
At a stakeholders’ engagement meeting in Abuja, NAFDAC Director-General Prof Mojisola Adeyeye addressed regulators, policymakers, and law enforcement agencies. She emphasized the need for quality assurance in products arriving in Africa, as agreed upon with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The certificate of pharmaceutical product is issued in accordance with WHO standards, establishing the status of the product and the applicant in the exporting country. It pertains to a single product, as manufacturing details and approved information for various forms and strengths can differ.
Adeyeye highlighted the meeting’s goal: ensuring the circulation of medical products that are of high quality, safe, and effective. She expressed concern about substandard and falsified products jeopardizing access to safe, affordable medicines and hindering the achievement of universal health coverage in Nigeria and Africa.
“We have 55 countries in Africa, and as member states globally, we are committed to ensuring the quality of products entering the region,” Adeyeye said. “The WHO’s certificate of pharmaceutical product scheme assures receiving countries of the quality of the products.”
Despite efforts to guarantee quality through pre-shipment testing and the issuance of certificates, Adeyeye noted challenges. “We have discovered that over 50% of the certificates of pharmaceutical products coming into our country are fake,” she said.
Adeyeye attributed part of the problem to individuals traveling to China or India, promising to address the issue. “We are stricter than ever and will not compromise on quality. We have blacklisted many companies and imposed sanctions to uphold our standards,” she added.