The director general of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Moji Christianah Adeyeye has alerted the agency’s ports inspection directorate to be on the lookout at ports and borders following reports of possible circulation of medicines/drugs from China contaminated with human remains from fetuses, infants’ flesh and viruses, which might be brought into the country as small packages.
It would be recalled that the National Intelligence Agency had in a memo asked in a memo asked NAFDAC and other agencies such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to be on the lookout for drugs imported from China suspected to have been made from human flesh.
“The South Korean Customs Service, on September 30, 2018, revealed that it had seized 2,751 Chinese drugs/capsules, containing human remains from foetuses, infants and flesh imported into the country by some Chinese nationals.
“The manufacturers claim that the drugs/capsules can boost stamina, cure cancer, diabetes and some other terminal diseases. The capsules were smuggled in suitcases and through international mail,” said NIA.
The agency revealed that South Korean ministry of food and drug safety indicated that 18.7 billion viruses, including hepatitis B virus were found in the capsules.
It described producing the drugs and consuming them as crimes against humanity, which could also lead to serious health challenges.
In a statement yesterday, NAFDAC’s director general, Dr. Moji Christianah Adeyeye, said it had been informed by the federal ministry of health of such drugs from China.
She said the pharmaco-vigilance and post-marketing directorate of the agency had also been alerted to conduct surveillance in markets across the country.
“NAFDAC was informed by ministry of health yesterday of some Chinese drugs that contain human remains.
“The agency has alerted its ports inspection directorate to be on the lookout at our ports and borders since the drugs may be brought into the country as small packages.
“We have contacted our counterpart in South Korea since the news was disseminated by Nigeria and Korea Intelligence Agencies and we will keep the public updated,” she said
She said NAFDAC would continue to work to safeguard the health of the nation.
Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has alerted the federal government of possible circulation of such medicines/drugs in Nigeria.
The PSN, yesterday, at a press conference ahead of its 91st Annual National Conference scheduled for Ibadan, Oyo State, from October 29 to November 3, with the theme, ‘Innovative Disruption in Pharmacy in Emerging Economies: A Road Map for Nigeria,’ advised the federal ministry of health NAFDAC, NDLEA, the customs and other security agencies to be on the alert to safeguard the health of the public.
The Society blamed the situation on dependence on imported drugs, occasioned by high productivity cost, prohibitive interest rate of 22 per cent and poor infrastructure that discourage local production.
President of PSN, Ahmed Yakassai, said a safety alert from the South Korean ministry of food and drug made it necessary to address significant threats posed by inadequate implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG).
“The document identified drug products containing ‘human remains from fetuses, infants and flesh’ heavily contaminated with viruses (bio-hazards), which were smuggled into South Korea via mail by Chinese nationals for local use.”
He said for medicines security, the government must, as a matter of urgency, take critical action to implement the national drug policy to promote local drug production, reduce dependence on imported medicines and implement without further delay the NDDG.
He added that as part of efforts to sanitise the drug distribution system in Nigeria, the PSN would on Tuesday, October 23, in Lagos, launch the Pharma Information Technology for online National Drug Distribution based on NDDG and PSNPay to digitalise the payment and collection of PSN annual capitation and other technical and interest groups of PSN dues both in states and national, as the existing collection process is manual, rigorous and prone to error.
With NAN, other reports