NAFDAC claims reduction in antimalarial counterfeits

Nigeria outline with capsulesNigeria's drugs regulator says that the proportion of fake antimalarials in circulation has been cut from around 60 per cent in 2008 to 3.6 per cent.

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said the reduction had come about thanks to a concerted effort to disrupt the trade in counterfeit medicines that has resulted in the seizure of around 25bn naira-worth ($125m) of counterfeit and substandard rigs in the last five years.

Nigeria has implemented a number of new initiatives in recent years to help drive counterfeit medicines out of the market including funding support for domestic pharmaceuticals production and deploying handheld screening devices to help identify fake drugs in the field.

Meanwhile, NAFDAC has warned that falsified copies of GlaxoSmithKline's meningitis vaccines - Mencevax ACW and Mencevax ACWY - have been encountered circulating in neighbouring Niger.

NAFDAC said the alert has been issued "on the basis of inconsistencies in the packaging material and confirmation from GSK that the batch number, manufacturing dates, and expiry dates are inconsistent with the genuine product."

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