By Felicia Imohimi
The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it would step up its regulatory mandates to curtail unwholesome drug distribution in the country.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja when she paid a courtesy visit on the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Mr Elijah Mohammed.
Adeyeye who decried the rate of abuse of cough syrups containing codeine and other substances stated that challenges in the process of recent efforts at recalling the syrups from manufacturers in the country was hectic.
She blamed it on the weak enforcement of upstream drug distribution practices by the past administration of the agency.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NAFDAC is saddled with the responsibilities of regulating and controlling the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water and chemicals.
She, however, described the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC and PCN toward implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines as key in curbing the menace of unwholesome drug distribution in the country.
According to her, the distribution guidelines will further go a long way to safeguard the health of the populace.
“The process of recalling codeine by the regulatory agencies as mandated by the Minister of Health was very tedious because NAFDAC in the past has not carried out its regulatory mandate effectively.
“NAFDAC has not done much in terms of regulation of drug distribution because we have left a vacuum in the past which we should not have.
“I assure that it will not happen again. NAFDAC has step up in terms of drug distribution inspection for the sake of the populace,” Adeyeye said.
The director-general said that the visit was aimed at fostering relationship with the PCN in order to address areas of overlap as well as ensure efficacy, efficient and safety of drugs distribution.
Adeyeye expressed the agency’s commitment to further collaborate with the council and other sister organisations to address issues of overlapping of functions for the good of consumers.
Earlier, Mohammed had requested the participation of NAFDAC officials at the council’s national workshop for inspectors to offer opportunity to share experiences in the training process, add value as well as gain experience from other inspectors.
According to him, this will further go a long way in ensuring better collaboration between them and bridge the gap in regulatory activities and address overlapping issues.
Mohammed noted that such efforts would ensure the actualisation of their mandates.
“PCN ensures effective regulations of Pharmaceutical premises, personnel and practice, NAFDAC on the other hand, ensures that qualitative, effective and safe medicines are available to the populace,” Mohammed said.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of plaque by the PCN registrar to the DG NAFDAC.