In response to the House of Representatives’ call to detect counterfeit medicines, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has enforced its Mobile Authentication Scheme (MAS) to curb the menace.
According to the Director General, NAFDAC, Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, MAS was deployed by NAFDAC in 2010 as an anti-counterfeiting tool to curb substandard and falsified medical products. “The medicines identified for implementation and enforcement in the first stage of the MAS scheme are antimalarials and antibacterials. These classes of medicines are selected as a result of high incidence of counterfeiting and the impact on public health.”
Also, in an effort to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of MAS and also maintain a robust database for evidence-based decision-making, NAFDAC is collaborating with Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to monitor a limited number of essential medicines. “Considering that NAFDAC has over 11,000 registered drug products, the manpower that will be needed to authenticate all drugs will be enormous. In addition, the information technology unit of NAFDAC will also need to network with NAFDAC offices in the 36 States in all six geographical zones and Abuja.”
Adeyeye added that all manufacturers would also need to retrofit their labeling lines in order to accommodate the MAS codes. She also urged the Speaker to facilitate tax breaks for manufacturers to improve trade and encourage local manufacturing.