NAFDAC’s new Director-General tasked to find solutions for disposal of expired drugs

NIGERIA – The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has urged NAFDAC to redress challenges associated with the disposal of expired drugs in the interest of Nigerians among others.

PSN addressed the new Acting Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to also strengthen the National Drug Distribution Guidelines, NDDG.

Other areas, the Society also charged the Agency under the leadership of Dr Monica Eimunjeze to tackle include; developing a sustainable framework for the handling service and orphan drugs, tackle proper classification of the registered drugs in line with new realities.

The also asked for the activating of the Federal and State Task Forces in partnership with PCN to cleanse the drug distribution channels as well as debunk the unfortunate notion that NAFDAC has become a fund-generating agency.

Acting DG NAFDAC, the President, Pharm. Cyril Usifoh said in the past few months, there has been a silent but raging war on the disposal of expired drugs and unwholesome food substances because of directives that those in possession of such should pay fees to NAFDAC for disposal of such.

Usifoh said the development may be dangerous for the country as it may lead to the recycling of expired drugs for use in the health system if not well managed now.

“The stakeholder who has expired consignment loses money and it is unthinkable to expect such a person to submit to a system where he loses more due to payment of tariffs to the government,” he said.

“It is in this light we call on the management of NAFDAC to have a rethink on this subject matter moving forward.”

On the framework for the handling of services and orphan drugs, Usifoh recalled that in 2014, the acceptable fee regimen as well as other administrative procedures to handle orphan and service drugs, have been completely disrupted and PSN strongly solicit a redress of these measures in the public interest.

“Technically we are saying PPMVL holders can sell antibiotics without prescriptions, but we hamstring registered pharmacies and other facilities. It is therefore appropriate to deal with this situation once and for all to ensure professionalism in our endeavours,” Usifo said.

Commenting on drug distribution, he said that the unwieldy nature of drug distribution channel appears to be escalating by the day.

The Fake Drug Act was first enacted as decree 21 of 1988. Almost 35 years after it is a messier state of affairs in drug distribution channels.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria was part of proceedings at NASS attempts were made to amend the existing Fake Drug Act.

“We are convinced that the militating bane has always been a deliberate resolve of the PCN and NAFDAC not to work together to break this logjam. In this dispensation, I believe we have a unique opportunity because both the Acting DG NAFDAC and the Registrar/CEO of PCN share our burdens directly,” Usifo said.

“The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria vouches to facilitate a table to cement new ideas and fresh strategies to get us out of the bottomless pit in this regard with a firm commitment from you on this auspicious occasion of our visit.”

He pledged that PSN will work with her office to ensure that her dispensation stands out.

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