By Doris Obinna
the The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it has emphasized local herbal medicines by rescinding the approval of imported herbal medicines that have equivalents in Nigeria.
NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye revealed this in Lagos during a press briefing at the launch of the International Narcotics Control Board’s Annual Report and Precursor Report.
According to her, it is about creating a revival of Nigerian herbal medicines and mitigating tampering and counterfeiting.
“In this offering, NAFDAC inaugurated the Herbal Medicines Committee in March 2019 and encouraged collaboration between herbal medicine researchers and local practitioners. This led to the joint submission of research proposals for funding clinical trials of products which were approved by NAFDAC so that the product could be fully approved.
“Just because something is herbal doesn’t mean it doesn’t kill. We were able to list about 42 herbal medicine products during the pandemic (COVID-19). We hope that in 50 years, NAFDA will be a regulatory pioneer.
She further stated that over the years, the agency has developed strategies to combat the ever-increasing challenge of counterfeiting of regulated products and trafficking in substandard falsified medicines.
“While these strategies have yielded positive results, the ever-innovative world of counterfeiting demands that a new regulatory strategy be deployed to keep these harmful products out. This has led to the concept of integrating traceability and supply chain security into regulated products, from factory to patient or farm to fork.
“The launch of the Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy Document was done in October 2020 and it is the first step in positioning Nigeria as a leader in driving pharmaceutical traceability in Africa. NAFDAC has developed a five-year Traceability Implementation Plan in line with the objectives of Nigeria’s Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy to ensure supply chain visibility and strengthen its pharmacovigilance activities against the scourge of drugs and medical devices. substandard and falsified by the end of the year 2024.”
She added that the agency has also created a traceability office (GS1 office) and a technical working group to drive the activities of the five-year implementation plan: “NAFDAC now uses traceability to monitor the distribution of vaccines to across the country and the agency is now a world leader in using this technology to monitor vaccines.
“Oxford University has recognized what NAFDAC is doing and called it the ‘Abuja Principles’ to mitigate tampering and counterfeiting of medical products.
“Furthermore, NAFDAC has been emphasizing local manufacturing of our regulated products to ensure that Nigeria will benefit from drug safety and reverse the trend from 70% import to around 30% import by 2025. Part of the goal is also to mitigate SF. and counterfeiting, because ensuring quality is much easier compared to an imported product.
“To improve the local production of pharmaceuticals in Nigeria, the agency has reviewed and updated its five plus five year validity policy. The license to register a product is valid for five years and at the end of the In the fourth year of the license, companies are required to submit draft plans for proposed partnerships with Nigerian companies or/and set up a local manufacturing plant.
“Upon successful renewal for another five years for companies with verifiable plans, NAFDAC will monitor the migration of imported drugs to local production. At the end of the seventh year (first five years and two years after the renewal), if there is no progress on migrating to local manufacturing as detailed in the blueprint, a delisting alert will be sent to the company at the beginning of the year.
“The migration to local manufacturing will be limited to products that local manufacturers have the capacity to produce or whose partnership would enhance manufacturing capacity. This is to reduce the number of registered imported products and to encourage local manufacturing and innovation.