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Drug Agency Raises Eyebrows Over Fake Paracetamol Flooding Nigeria’s Market

The National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC), is worried about the standard of anti maleria drugs, paracetamol that are circulating across the country today.
The situation has now led to the setting up of a body to conduct surveys into the brands, with a view to removing the substandard ones from the market.
The Director General of the Agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, who confirmed the news, in a statement yesterday, January 15, said that she had ordered a market survey to sample and test paracetamol brands in Nigeria.
The Director General queried the accuracy of the research, questioned the scientific methodology and labeled it misleading.
She wanted a laboratory test of paracetamol brands across the country to be conducted, even as she said that NAFDAC’s laboratories are ISO 17025-certified every year to ensure that the procedures used for testing are based on international standards.
She said that the tests are also to ensure that the equipment or instruments used are qualified.
“We do yearly post-marketing survey of medicines to ensure that the quality and safety are maintained. We want to reiterate that NAFDAC has five ISO-17025 Laboratories across the country, and a WHO Prequalified Laboratory at Yaba Lagos where medicines are tested for quality and safety.
“The laboratories test medicines using official monographs of British Pharmacopeia, United States Pharmacopoeia, and International Pharmacopoeia.
“As soon as we finish the laboratory testing, we will update the public. “NAFDAC wishes to reassure the public that the agency is very vigilant in her responsibilities in safeguarding the health of the nation.
“It is on this basis that NAFDAC has been recognized by WHO as a stable, well-functioning agency, and by other international partners as an organisation that places premium on the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines, food, and other regulated products.”
Recent investigations showed that nearly all the paracetamol tablets sold in Nigeria fall short of the requirements specified by the British Pharmacopoeia and the World Health Organization (WHO).
A 2023 study titled: ‘’Comparative Analysis of Five Different Brands of Paracetamol Sold in Nigeria with British Pharmacopoeia Standards,’’ exposed variations in the actual dosage of paracetamol tablets.
Samples from five different brands, all purportedly containing 500mg, were found to have concentrations ranging from 185mg to 358mg, significantly below the recommended limit.

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