By Sola Ogundipe
Pharmacists under the auspices of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, have tasked the management of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration & Control, NAFDAC, to reduce lead time employed in registration of drugs and other products in the country.
The pharmacists said the current process is appearing unduly long as far as the businesses of manufacturers and importers are concerned.
The ACPN has also tasked the NAFDAC management to initiate progress in the quest for institutionalising orphan and service drugs as well as the concept of community pharmacy Action Centres (COPA) to effectively coordinate self-regulation in community practice.
Making these remarks in a congratulatory letter to the NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Agency, Pharm Samuel Adekola and Pharm Bose Idowu, the National Chairman and National Secretary of the ACPN respectively, however noted that despite these and other challenges, some gentle strides with Adeyeye had been achieved over the last 18 months or thereabout.
Among other issues, the ACPN spokespersons mentioned the non-adherence to designated ports of entries for drugs (both airports and seaports) which they said still encourages the distribution of falsified medicines in Nigeria.
“NAFDAC enforcement agents need to checkmate the influence of the night buses and other illegal modes of freight forwarding deployed to move falsified medicines (fake drugs) in our country,“ the said.
Describing NAFDAC as one of the most impactful regulatory agencies in the Nigerian space, they noted that the seeming undue political exposure of NAFDAC appears to be drifting now to core professionalism which is the ideal in ultimate public interest.
“Much better management of the internally generated revenue (IGR) of NAFDAC such that some inherited debts are gradually been defrayed and renewed investments in upgrading laboratory facilities which now have ISO certification that boosts the philosophy of consumerism a core tenet in the NAFDAC safety mandate.”
According to the ACPN spokespersons: “To the credit of Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, is the astuteness and doggedness in the fight against drug abuse and misuse. Her partnership with the young pharmacist group in this regard is particularly strategic,” the ACPN stated.
“The efforts of NAFDAC under Prof. Adeyeye who canvassed reduction in drug registration tariffs is highly commendable especially because a summation of this and other factors increases drug prices in Nigeria. We must also commend the concession in fees approved for small businesses to thrive.
As pioneer players in the quest for a sanitised drug distribution agenda, the ACPN welcomes the collaborations between NAFDAC and PCN as championed through resolutions of the 2018 National Summit of the ACPN.”
They said collaboration between NAFDAC and the PCN to jointly facilitate the National Drug Distribution Guidelines will help stop the dreaded open Drug Markets.
“While the PCN will register the CWCs, we look forward to strict regulation of products. The ACPN believes the great reforms under the watch of the NAFDAC DG will reposition the pharmaceutical industry.
The ISO certification of lab facilities at NAFDAC positions our manufacturers to enjoy greater exports of products in the future.
“The 7-star pro-active measure of subjecting NAFDAC to the World Health Organisation (WHO) global benchmarking is certainly a major advancement in the regulatory space in Nigeria as these ultimately places NAFDAC endorsement of any brand on a global pedestal.”