The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, said it has developed a more reliable platform to trace and track unregistered and substandard products in Nigeria.
The agency stated that the technology would trace and monitor the movement of medicines from the manufacturer to the patients with bar coding to check the growing trend of substandard and falsified drugs and consumables in Nigeria.
The Director-General NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known during a press briefing in Abuja, ahead of the forthcoming 2nd African Healthcare Conference scheduled to hold in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to her, NAFDAC, through its collaboration with a firm, Global Standard 1, was working towards expanding its food and drugs authentication system in order to ensure that people had access to the right drugs and consumables.
She explained that the agency would, among other things, put structures in place in the distribution supply chain so as to further control the distribution, sale and use of products under its watch.
While explaining that the structure would trace and monitor the movement of medicines from the manufacturer to the patients with bar coding, Adeyeye said the GSI develops and maintains global standards used to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains.
She said, “This is to ensure that these regulated products are traceable with the aim of eliminating substandard and falsified medicines in the supply chain, thus safeguarding the health of the population.
“Health care regulators across Africa will join international organisations, regional and global health care stakeholders and prominent experts to address global health policy aspects in order to prevent falsified medicines from entering the supply chain through implementing traceability.
“Before now, drugs and other consumables that left the manufacturers are often unaccounted for. Only a few companies do that through bar coding, which has huge limitations.”
Adeyeye added that the new system, and will be facilitated by GS1, would help to improve the existing monitoring system. It is expected to provide an opportunity for tracking and tracing identified infiltrations into the supply and distribution chain.
“Ten companies are currently using bar coding for verification. But the new step would do far more than that by following the drugs and food as they leave the manufacturer through the supply chain to ensure that items, which left the table of the manufacturers are exactly what the consumer receives.
“Addressing this situation may help to prevent widespread loss of life in this continent, including an estimated 64,000 to 158,000 avoidable deaths from malaria alone. Furthermore, falsified medication has an economic impact and results in less trust in the healthcare system,” the NAFDAC DG said.
The Chief Executive Officer, GS 1 Nigeria, Tunde Odunlami, explained that Nigeria had five years plan for the implementation of the GS 1 master plan for the tracing and tracking of drugs in Nigeria.