NAFDAC says it has launched a pharmaceutical traceability strategy document to fight the menace of substandard and falsified medical products in the country.
The Director-General on NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said this known via a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
She said that the document was launched to prevent losses due to diversion of medical products, as well as improve NAFDAC’s regulatory control over the medicines supply chain in the country.
Adeyeye said: “The mission of NAFDAC 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 traceability regulations and related guidelines.
“The launch of the strategy document is the first step in positioning Nigeria as leader in driving traceability of pharmaceutical products in Africa.”
The director-general reiterated NAFDAC’s commitment to the implementation of the tracking mechanism, as part of the regulatory devices aimed at strengthening and underscoring its mandate.
Adeyeye said that the agency had developed a five-year traceability plan, with the aim of achieving supply chain visibility, adding that the strategy would strengthen its pharmacovigilance and post-marketing activities.
She said that the five-year plan was aimed at checking the scourge of substandard and falsified medicines and medical devices by the end of 2024.
Besides, Adeyeye said that NAFDAC had established a traceability office (traceability desk) and a technical working group to drive the activities in the next five years.
According to her, the objectives are to increase the safety of patients via the mitigation of the risk of entry of substandard and falsified medicines into the legitimate supply chain.
She said that the objectives also included the prevention of losses due to diversion of medical products, thus preserving resources for the needed medical intervention.
Others are to provide data-driven visibility for health commodities in national supply chains and stronger interoperability with global supply chains; improve reliable access to essential health commodities through supply chain efficiencies and stock availability.
Adeyeye said that it would also promote public confidence 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 which many countries faced as a result of COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, adding that there was need to act fast as the distribution of emerging COVID-19 vaccines would also be affected due to likely short supplies.
The NAFDAC boss noted that the emergence of falsified versions of the COVID-19 vaccines would cause 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’,” she said.
She said that the strategy document was, therefore, a solution that would help regulatory agencies, donors and institutions to work together.