National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has given anti malaria and antibiotic drug manufacturers up to July this year to emboss on their products scratch and text mobile authentication signs.
In an enlightenment programme at the Palace of Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, NAFDAC Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii announced that the deadline would be strictly adhered to save the lives of many innocent Nigerians from fake drugs.
Orhii also added that the deadline for malaria in the country was initially extended in order to accommodate the readiness of some antibiotics just as he pledged a sustained full implementation of the malaria programme.
He also said that in the last 6 and a half years fake drugs and food valued at N30 billion had been destroyed.
Speaking on the importance of the scratch card policy for drugs, Orhii said “the advantage of the scratch card is that it is difficult to fake the medicine. So far we have not found anybody who has successfully faked medicine that have the scratch card on it."
Based on this, Orhii said the scratch card system was an "opportunity to completely eradicate counterfeit medicine in our system."
Speaking on the recent mysterious deaths at Ode Irele in Ondo State which claimed the lives of 18 people, the NAFDAC boss blamed the deaths on the consumption of methanol, and said the agency has commenced rigorous public enlightenment against it.
"We are warning members of the public not to patronize these products. They are not approved by NAFDAC. They have not been evaluated. So if you take them, you are taking a risk."
Commending the effort of the NAFDAC boss in the fight against fake drugs, the Emir said he would give his best effort to promote the benefit of the campaign to his people of Kwara State and by extension, the whole country.