The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has advised Nigerians against the use of counterfeit, substandard products.
According to the agency, counterfeit and substandard products are not only injurious to human health but also remain one of the major obstacles to economic growth and productivity.
Mr. Muyiddin Suleiman, the Coordinator, NAFDAC, Kebbi State Office, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi on Friday.
He, however, said that counterfeit and substandard chemicals and drugs were not commonly found in Kebbi because the state was not a huge market for medicine, yet its effects were encompassing.
The coordinator explained that based on their experiences during surveillances in the neighbourhood, they didn’t have problem with counterfeit products.
On how the agency gathers intelligence, Suleiman said they usually receive alerts and communications from companies through their headquarters and sometimes from international organisations.
“Because the problem of counterfeit and substandard products is not just a Nigerian problem but a global challenge.
“So, as a regulatory agency we receive alerts from manufacturers through our agency and when we receive such we work on it.
“More often than not, probably because of the factor I have told you earlier, Kebbi is not a huge market for drugs, most of the time we don’t come across this problem,” he said.
The coordinator also said that the agency was always on the field for regular checks to ensure that substandard products were not in circulation within the society.
He assured that even if those with ill will against Nigerians smuggled it into the society, they would be discouraged because they would not have market for it.
“Because when we see such counterfeit drugs, we don’t only remove them but we investigate the source and report to the appropriate quaters who now take investigative actions and when established, they will take punitive action.
“But like I told you, every society has deviants and people who derive pleasure in making people cry, recently we have an alert of counterfeit amoxicillin clavulanic combination capsules which are commonly called augmentin in circulation.
“But in the whole of seven local government areas of Kebbi that we have investigated so far, we found this drug in only one shop and the marketer claimed ignorance about the product, that the product looked like the original and didn’t suspect, we are still investigating,” he assured.