Nigeria launches mobile meds ‘white list’ to fight fakes

Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has published a database of registered and authorised drugs for sale and distribution in the country, part of an attempt to crack down on the sale of falsified and substandard medicines.

The launch of the NAFDAC Green Book in web and mobile formats, which includes information on more than 6,400 licensed pharmaceutical products, was announced at an update this week by NAFDAC Director General Prof Mojisola Adeyeye.

The database will be available to the public, allowing them to see descriptions of the product presentation along with other information that could help consumers check the validity of medicines before they use them. If a product isn’t listed, it can be understood that it is unlicensed and may not be safe to use.

Android and Apple versions of the app are available, putting “the needed information on drugs registered by the agency at the fingertips of the public,” said Prof Adeyeye.

Coinciding with the announcement was news of the destruction of 135 truckloads of falsified and substandard medicinal and food/beverage products with an estimated market value of N16bn (around $19.4m).

NAFDAC also carried out several raids across nine states in the south of the country, uncovering counterfeit Diageo products worth over N38m. In Lagos state and Abuja, several premises were also raided and counterfeit products worth over N200m were recovered and seized.

The agency also highlighted an operation against counterfeit alcohol, soft drinks and food items at Eziukwu Market in Abia, which resulted in the seizure of N750m.

The operation, carried out over several weeks, found counterfeits of a wide variety of brands ranging from Seaman Schnapps, Henessy, Four Cousins, Carlo Rossi, Jenney, Chelsea London Dry Gin, Schnapp Dry Gin, McDowells, Black Labels, Gordons, Martell, Campari, Smirnoff Ice, Eva Non-Alcoholic Drink, Evra Non-Alcoholic Drink, Cartel, and others.

There was also a large quantity of re-labeled, expired products including milk and powdered milk products, ketchup, yoghurt, and Coca-Cola products – which were intended for sale to unsuspecting members of the public.

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