source: the nation
The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested five persons in connection with forgery, and manufacturing of substandard and counterfeit drugs as the agency intensifies its fight against substandard and counterfeit drugs and food products.
The various people arrested are Mr. Victor Okeke for forgery of NAFDAC’s documents, Mr. Tochukwu Michael Ozala, Mr. Ifeanyi Okoro, Mr. Peter Nwannwbuife and Mr. Nnaka Christian for counterfeiting Codrux Codeine Cough syrup and Coflin cough syrup in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Speaking at a press briefing last week at the NAFDAC office, Oshodi, Lagos, to intimate the press of the agency’s recent activities, the Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii, disclosed that the agency also recently intercepted fake packaging materials for drug with fake Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) code and NAFDAC registration number at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
“The labelled packaging materials has fake MAS code, date markings, batch numbers and NRN already inscribed on it,” noted the Director General, adding that preliminary investigations revealed that the packaging materials originated from India and may have been imported with intent to fake the original brand.
Meanwhile, the market authorisation holder of the original brand, Fidson Healthcare Plc, has denied knowledge of such import. The consignment is estimated to have over 5,000 pieces of secondary packaging and over 1,000 pieces of the MAS code labels.
The federal government regulatory body also discovered three ware houses where counterfeit medicines are stored by a major counterfeiter of medicines. His identity and address cannot be revealed now in order not to impede investigations.
Explaining, Dr. Paul Orhii said that at the time NAFDAC staff stormed the three warehouses, about 15 types of popular drugs and medicine packaging materials were found. Such drugs include Tarivid 200mg tablet, Augmentin 625mg tablet, Proviron tablets, Novasc tablets, Glucophage 500mg tablets, Cotecxin tablets, Regroton tablets, Clomid tablets, Loratyn-10 tablets, Cytotec-200mg tablets and Halfan tablets.
Other drugs also discovered in the warehouses include Lexotan tablets, Tegretol tablets, Cataflam tablets, Ciprotab tablets and unlabelled injection. The packaging materials include Ampiclox, Taravid, Augmentine, Vega, Aldomet, and GSK Hologram for Loparex.
The DG regretted that date and batch coding machines used in the validation of expired medicines were among the things discovered in the warehouses.
Meanwhile, Mr. Victor Chinonyelum Okeke was apprehended for forgery of NAFDAC import control stamp used for the clearing of consignments imported into the country.
Dr. Orhii stated that in this case, Victor Okeke, forged stamps for Option Freight international Ltd, a clearing company to facilitate the clearance of 1X20ft and 1X40ft containers of herbal drugs and herbal tea imported by Tianshi Health Products Company Ltd.