NAFDAC launches pharmaceutical traceability strategy to curb drug falsification

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has launched a pharmaceutical traceability strategy document to fight the menace of Substandard and Falsified (SF) medical products.

The information in a statement signed by the agency’s Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, issued to newsmen in Abuja stated that the launch of the document was to prevent the loss and diversion, as well as improve NAFDAC’s regulatory control of medicine supply chain in the country.

She noted that “the mission of NAFDAF is a daunting task in the face of the chaotic drug distribution system currently existing in Nigeria. The pharmaceutical traceability strategy document presents NAFDAC’s priority objectives that will guide the development of a comprehensive operational plan.

“It will also contribute to strengthening the existing regulatory and legal framework required to publish and enforce a traceability regulation and related guideline.

“The launch of this strategy document is the first step in positioning Nigeria as leader in driving traceability of pharmaceutical products in Africa.”

Adeyeye reiterated NAFDAC’s commitment to the implementation of the tracking mechanism as part of the regulatory device to strengthening and underscoring its mandate.

She said that the agency had developed a five-year traceability plan toward achieving supply chain visibility, noting that this would strengthen its pharmacovigilance and post marketing activities.

She added that the five-year plan was aimed at checking the scourge of Substandard and Falsified medicines and medical devices by the end of the year 2024.

The NAFDAC boss said that the agency also established a traceability office (traceability desk) and a technical working group to drive the activities in the five years.

According to her, the objectives are to increase patient safety through mitigating the risk of entry of Substandard and Falsified medicines into the legitimate supply chain, prevent loss due to diversion of medical products, thus preserving resources for needed medical intervention.

Others are to provide data-driven visibility of health commodities in national supply chains and stronger interoperability with global supply chain; improve reliable access to essential health commodities through supply chain efficiencies and stock availability.

It will also promote trust in the public and private pharmaceutical sectors and healthcare systems through supply chain security.

She said that the agency was aware of the spike in falsified medicines many countries face as a result of COVID-19-related supply chain distruptions, adding that there was need to act fast as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine may likely be in short supply.

She noted that the emergence of falsified versions of the COVID-19 vaccine would do irreparable harm to the already challenging task of vaccine literacy and acceptance.

“COVID-19 commodities and essential medicines for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, traceability technology will be used to create “learn traceability”.

This according to her, it is a solution that will help regulatory agencies, donors and institutions to work together.

She added that it would help to prevent diversion from the distribution chain.

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