The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested and confiscated three vehicles laden with suspected fake and substandard drugs in Delta.
Deputy Director, Head, Investigation and Enforcement and Federal Task Force Office of NAFDAC on counterfeit and Fake Drugs, South East and South-South Zone, Dr Christiana Esenwah, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Asaba.
She said that the NAFDAC team also apprehended five people including the drivers of the vehicles at Abraka Market along Onitsha-Asaba highway in Asaba on Friday following a tip-off.
Esenwah said that the team, on a full examination of the trucks, discovered the fake and substandard drugs to include Tramadol, Panadol Extra, Depo-Provera injection, Insulin, Dano vaccine, Talita Super, and Tetanus Antitoxin.
“We intercepted three vehicles which were loaded with counterfeits, fake, adulterated, unregistered and improperly stored medication.
“In fact inside the trucks, we got some banned and control products which were loaded and en route Kano and other places; with privileged information by concerned citizens, we were able to intersect the trucks.
“The products were loaded at the bridgehead market, Onitsha, so with the available information, we were able, with the aid of police to intercept two DAF Trucks and a J5 bus at Abraka Market, along Onitsha-Asaba Highway in Asaba.
“Tramadol is a control product that is not to be handled by just anybody because of the adverse effect of taking the product, besides these (200mg) products here in the trucks were not allowed to be registered by NAFDAC.
“Again, the Depo- Provera Injection here have a scratch pin which a consumer should scratch to get information about the product, but this particular product is fake because the scratch pin cannot be scratched.
“We also have the Analgin Injection in the vehicles and this has been banned in Nigeria because of its adverse effect; we have Dano vaccines and other vaccines in the trucks without cold chain and the insulin also without cold chain storage, making these drugs impotent and harmful.
“The Panadol Extra here are fake and we have veterinary products here that are also fake, they are not registered with NAFDAC,” she said.
According to her, NAFDAC is spreading its dragnet and probe to get to the root of the culprits involved in the haulage of fake and substandard products.
She expressed the readiness of the NAFDAC team to work with the general public to curb the menace of fake, counterfeit and substandard drugs in the zone to save the lives.
Esenwah decried the effects of fake and substandard drugs to the health of the general public if the substandard products had filtered into the market unnoticed.
She added that the fake and substandard drugs accounted for the many deaths recorded daily which could be averted with genuine products.
Esenwah said that the costs of fake drugs to the general public was unquantifiable in monetary terms, adding that many more lives had been lost to fake and adulterated food and drug products in the country.
She, therefore, called on Nigerians to join hands with the agency to fight against fake, substandard and adulterated products by providing the agency with useful tips.