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NAFDAC intercepts, destroys unwholesome products in Borno

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  National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it  recently intercepted, seized and destroyed some unwholesome products in Maiduguri.

NAFDAC’s Director General, Mrs Mojisola Adeyeye, in a statement said the exercise was carried out in conjunction with the Nigeria Customs Service.

She said some of the products that were destroyed included counterfeit crusader soaps and infested smoked dried fish preserved with high doses of dangerous and hazardous chemicals.

According to the director-general, the Zonal Director of NAFDAC who was represented by the state coordinator at the event, Mr Nasiru Mato, stated that both products failed laboratory analysis and quality evaluation assessment conducted by NAFDAC.

She quoted the state coordinator as saying that the products were found to be unwholesome, dangerously unfit for human consumption.

The coordinator commended the effort of the Customs for the giant stride, adding that it would indeed have a multiplier effect in safeguarding the health of consumers.

According to the state coordinator, a robust and focused collaboration is the surest way to ensure safety of consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Over 110 Hand sanitisers production Coys registered in Nigeria- NAFDAC

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says over 110 hand sanitisers production companies are currently operating in Nigeria following the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.

Its Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known on Wednesday during a virtual meeting organised by the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre.

The focus was: “LBS Sustainability Centre: COVID-19 in Africa and the Impact on Medical Products and Technologies: What We Know and What We should Be Doing.”

Adeyeye said when the pandemic started, it was a wild wind for the regulatory agency, because they were caught by surprise and everything stopped as they had to focus on COVID-19 pandemic.

She said: “There was complete lockdown in selected states of Lagos, Ogun and FCT; so, we had to quickly start using adaptive regulatory activities with only essential workers.

“There were too many things happening at the same time, but we had to expedite approval processes.

“We actually cut it down to 10 days instead of months that we had before.

“For alcohol-based hand sanitisers, there was intensification of submissions and approvals.

In January 2020, we had about 21 hand sanitising companies in Nigeria before COVID-19, now we have over 110 hand sanitising companies registered in our data base.’’

According to her, 55 brands of hand sanitisers were issued emergency approval for use during the four weeks COVID-19 countrywide lockdown.

Adeyeye said that expedited approvals were being given, and NAFDAC could not inspect the sites because of lockdown, and because it was just at the beginning of the pandemic.

“We weren’t even prepared to get all the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed.

“However, we went into the market on surveillance, we had to go to open markets.

We started in Lagos, then spread across the country, because with the pandemic came unregistered hand sanitisers, falsified hand sanitisers.

“But, we did our due diligence in terms of both market surveillance which included mopping of many sanitisers from the market, doing laboratory testing to know the level of alcohol.

“There were some that had low levels of alcohol, and we mopped them from the market,’’ the NAFDAC director-general said.


Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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NAFDAC harps on need to promote local manufacturers

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has restated the need for Nigeria to promote local manufacturing sector.

The Director General of the NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this assertion at a news conference to commemorate the launch of palliatives for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) on Friday in Abuja.

According to her, the launch of the palliatives for MSMEs is as a result of the agency’s drive to promote the country’s economy and to cushion the effect of the present hard times on the sector.

“We did this because times are hard and people are faced with many challenges, this is an opportunity for us to look inward and support the country through MSMEs

“This is one of the reasons we are focusing on MSMEs.

“Micro small businesses are significant in terms of driving the country’s economy, without them, our economy may suffer, without them recession might come in.

“Today mark what we are going to do for the next 90 days, the first 200 micro small businesses will get the opportunity to register free,” she said.

Adeyeye said that the agency had also reduced the fees for registration by 80 per cent for companies that had already established but are yet to renew their licenses.

She said that the fines on those companies that had already registered but yet to renew their licences would also be waived to encourage growth.

The NAFDAC boss, however, said that importation of so many products, particularly drugs have negative impact on the nation’s economy.

She expressed concerns that Nigeria depends so much on foreign goods.

She said that the dependency on foreign goods would not grow our economy but, rather retard its development.

The DG noted that the country had over neglected local industries and local production, adding that COVID-19 pandemic has caused increase in prices of imported goods.

She said Nigeria should look inward and improve on its local production of the citizens essential needs instead of relying on foreign goods.

“We need to wake up and do what we are supposed to do, that means, less dependence on other countries, if we can learn this lesson, COVID-19 will be a blessing

Adeyeye commended the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Ministry of Finance for seeing the need to pay more attention to local industries.

She also said that there has not been any vaccine yet both home and abroad to cure the virus, adding that effort is ongoing in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany to secure vaccines for it.

The DG,  however, welcome any herbal practitioners, who is ready to show his or her experience with scientific prove to treat the COVID-19.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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COVID-19: NAFDAC warns against use of Chloroquine

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has, again, warned Nigerians against taking Chloroquine as treatment for  Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Nobody should buy Chloroquine and use. If you have COVID-19, go to a doctor. We have warned Nigerians and shall do that again. Do not take Chloroquine,” Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC’s Director General, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

“The delay in approving some of the drugs for treatment of the virus is because of the clinical trials the agency is carrying out on them.

“So far, no group or individual has proffered any solution to the treatment or management of the pandemic,” she said.

According to Adeyeye, the Chinese government carried out lots of trials on Chloroquine before it approved its use for treatment on some COVID-19 patients.

”Clinical trial is not a thing one can handle casually; it requires guidance, supervision and experiment before approval so that it will not cause further damage.

“The trial is to determine whether it is actually working or not, after a sustained observation. NAFDAC is supposed to be the centre of the regulation of clinical trial effects.

“Nobody can do any job of clinical trial in the clinic or anywhere without passing through NAFDAC protocol.

”If such protocol is found defective or tend to compromise the health of Nigerians, we will not approve it,’’ she said.

The NAFDAC boss further said that whatever procedure was coming up for the cure or curtailment of COVID-19 must be submitted for trial to the agency for appropriate processing.

She said that the agency must also ensure that all the procedure used in arriving at their experimental processes for the cure or curtailment of COVID-19 must be submitted with relevant proof.

Adeyeye advised researchers and traditional medical practitioners to follow the normal protocol before the approval of their work for public consumption

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COVID-19: NAFDAC DG praises Madagascar, confident of similar breakthrough soon

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Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has commended Madagascar’s initiative that ensured its herbal remedy for the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We are proud of them (Madagascar). They appreciate what they have. We do not.

“All the herbs they have and are using, we have them. But we do not use them the way they are doing.

“They appreciate their brains and use them. We must do same here if we want to develop as a nation,” she told the News Agency of Nigeria , on Thursday in Abuja.

She regretted that Nigeria had consistently depended on what others were bringing to it, and emphasised the need to look inward for solutions to our concerns.

Adeyeye said that the novel Coronavirus had jolted the country, and challenged those in authority to make the health sector a major priority.

COVID-19 has slapped us in the face. It has kicked us back and front. We are now facing the stark realities of being insecure.

“There is drug insecurity, medical devices insecurity, test kits insecurity; we have always depended on other nations for everything.

“India, for instance, is not supplying medicals to us again because they are thinking about their own people.

“We have been using Dogonyaro (Neem tree) for ages. Some other African countries have developed their herbal remedies.

“Which one can we claim to have developed in Nigeria? What we are looking for in Madagascar, we may have it in our backyard,’’ the director general said.

Adeyeye said that Nigeria had been a slave to China and India in terms of drug reliance, adding that the challenge posed by the pandemic would make the country to look inward.

According to her, it is time for Nigerians to make use of their talents by looking inward and coming up with something.

She said that the coronavirus pandemic had created opportunity for Nigerians to start making good use of their talent and attempt to create something on their own.

Adeyeye, however, called for a policy that would ban importation of drugs and compel Nigerians to look inward and start the development of home made drugs.

“Madagascar has done it. They have looked inward and came up with herbs; Nigeria has over relied on the white for everything,

“Some of us claim to love this country, but we do not. We have good weather, good environment, natural resources, but we are not making good use of them,” she said.

“We must take the health sector serious by showing all sense of responsibility and we must work to stop importation of drugs,’’ the director general said.

The director general also called for investment in research, adding that without it, Nigeria would not move forward in the quest to develop herbal medicine.

“Research is an important ingredient that can create confidentiality agreement between herbal practitioners and NAFDAC.

“Research is important to help us know the content of the herbal mixture we even need to take

“Before COVID-19, we had inaugurated Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee, precisely in March 2019. We have wasted a lot of money and opportunity to develop our herbal medicine and cannot continue that way,” she said.

The director general also called for mutual trust among the herbal practitioners to facilitate inventions in the medical sector.

Edited By: Cecilia Ologunagba and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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COVID-19 pandemic’ll give birth to indigenous pharmaceutical companies – NAFDAC DG

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Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says the Coronavirus pandemic will give birth to so many indigenous pharmaceutical companies in the country.

Adeyeye said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

The director general said that God had endowed Nigeria with abundant resources to turn the crisis into great opportunity by manufacturing raw materials for productions of drugs.

“One thing that will come out of COVID-19 is that companies will start manufacturing pharmaceutical ingredients, even if it is one or two.

“Let us start something instead of importing everything; let us invest in our country.

“I am very confident of that because God gave us brains. We go out of this country and most of us in diaspora become stars in different fields,” she said.

Adeyeye emphasised that God had given Nigerians the best brains to transform the country in all the sectors of the economy.

“All we need is to focus on the areas of priority. If government does not focus on education, instructing the university lecturers to prioritise research and development, we may not achieve drug security.

“Also, we need to address the issue of incessant strikes; I am not saying that some of the reasons of going on strike are not genuine, but that is not the way to solve our problems.

“I was a professor for 30 years, in USA where I worked, it is strange to be on strike.

“We take planning seriously, so that is the reason why if we want to get there, we have to change our ways,’’ she said.

According to her, Nigeria needs to change its ways and have good development policies.

China has a policy on family planning but here we don’t want to restrict the number of children we have; we keep talking about our grandchildren having so many children but they are all farmers.’’

Adeyeye said that NAFDAC had received applications from people seeking to register their facemasks producing outfits and would treat the applications to support local content.

“We are now testing them in the laboratory to see how safe and thick they are.

“The quality of the materials will determine if it is safe to stop your droplets from getting to somebody else; it is the thickness that matters.

“The quality of the material determines whether is safe or not,’’ she said.

According to her, the important aspect of facemask is that it must protect the user from getting  droplets out or inhaling any.

“So, it is the thickness that matters for the general population. The thickness should stop droplets from getting out of the user’s system.

“Also, the materials should be soft enough not to irritate the user,” she said.

 

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COVID-19: NAFDAC plans ahead, targets strong health sector after pandemic

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As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address drug insecurity in the country.

“We are working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to address drug insecurity in the country; that is part of our postCOVID-19 plan to revamp the heath sector,” Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.

She said that the agency had been meeting with relevant stakeholders to achieve the feat.

Adeyeye said the agency had started working on the production of herbal medicine since March 2019.

“As soon as I came in as the DG, I started singing it everywhere I go that we have drug insecurity.

“If you manufacture 30 per cent of your drugs locally and import 70, you have made your nation a slave to the country that is supplying.

“We were slaves to China and India; we depended so much on them. With the outbreak of Coronavirus, China had their issues and everything stopped.

“India also stopped their own supplies because they want to conserve. It left us stranded, but the  pandemic lingers on,’’ she said.

According to her, the agency met with the CBN governor two months ago to address challenges facing the sector.

“The CBN Governor has listened to some of the things that came from NAFDAC in terms of drug insecurity. He has said that it was high time for Nigeria to start looking inward.

“We have had series of meeting and NAFDAC is the go-between now.

NAFDAC is the brigde between CBN and pharmaceutical manufacturing groups of Nigeria.

“We had a meeting last Saturday, so part of what the government has realised is that the health sector has been neglected.

“We have realised that we have to take care of some aspects of the health sector.’’

The director general said that the Federal Government had been responding by allocating N100 billon to qualified pharmaceutical manufacturing companies for production of indigenous drugs.

“We left industrialisation decades ago but we are going back to where we came; the government is supporting and more companies are getting approval.’’

Adeyeye emphasised that Nigeria’s over-dependence on medicine importation had affected production of locally made drugs.

She said that the lack of accessible raw materials had also posed similar challenge, adding that the challenge needed to be tackled before Nigeria can attain a state of drug security.

“The CBN said we need to do sanitisers locally, that is the beginning of COVID for us; I told them, sanitiser has three ingredients and we import all the ingredients.

“We should wake up as a country; we import alcohol, one of the ingredients for sanitisers. We cannot continue like this,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COVID-19: NAFDAC committed to supporting treatment initiatives–DG

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it is committed to supporting any intervention aimed at facilitating the treatment of the COVID-19.

The Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Adeyeye, part of the efforts to advance herbal products development for the treatment of COVID-19 informed the setting up of the Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC).

She said that the platform had brought together manufacturers, academics, researchers and relevant stakeholders by bridging the gap created between traditional medicine practitioners and drug manufacturers.

“This collaboration brokered by the agency aims at translating research of herbs into products of commerce with proven safety and efficacy.

“The committee has met three times since inception, on March 15, Sept. 6, 2019 and the most recent one being a virtual meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2020.

“Call for expression of interest for the COVID-19 related medicines was made; several researchers and practitioners have responded and are being guided to submit such medicines to NAFDAC for expedited review.

“The agency continues to encourage all stakeholders to present the products of their research findings and allow these remedies go through internationally recognised process of approval,” she said.

The director general added that NAFDAC, as an agency with the mandate to regulate the conduct of clinical trials in the country, was committed to encouraging sponsors with appropriate guidance for effective intervention to treat or prevent COVID-19.

(
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Group wants NAFDAC begin investigations into local claims for COVID-19 remedies

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A non-governmental organisation, Movement for Fundamental Change, has called on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to begin  investigations into local claims  for the treatment of novel coronavirus.

The Head of Policy Positions of the organisation, Chief Martin Onovo, made the call in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

According to Onovo, COVID-19 has been treated easily by some people across the world, using home remedies.

He said that Madagascar, Ghana and Senegal had all shown remarkable capacity to contain COVID-19 with local remedies.

Onovo said that Nigeria should list such claims if found useful.

“These claims include Pax Herbal’s CVD Plus, the Ooni of Ife’s remedies, Prof. Maurice Iwu’s product and  Ben Amodu’s drug.

“It is for NAFDAC to confirm the safety of the remedies and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to test their effectiveness with volunteer COVID-19 patients,” he said.

Onovo said that successful products from Nigeria would establish another source of foreign exchange ‘in this period of low crude oil prices’.

Onovo urged the government to support Madagascar to obtain African and global acceptance for its COVID-19 remedy in line with the country’s foreign policy focus.

He said that Madagascar had not recorded any COVID-19-related death, adding that the mortality rate in Ghana was only 0.6 per cent because the people were  using local remedies to fight the virus.

Onovo said that COVID-19 was not death sentence and could easily be prevented and cured.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has directed NAFDAC to begin the procedure for listing of a new herbal formulation to fight against novel coronavirus.

The directive  is contained in a circular entitled, “Formulation of A Phyto Medicine-Based Cough Mixture /Syrup For the Management of COVID-19 Patients”.

It was issued by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Abdullahi.

It said that the formulation was the brainchild of the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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NAFDAC disassociates itself from PAXHERBAL claim on drug for treatment of COVID-19

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has disassociated itself from PAXHERBAL advertorial claim that it has developed a drug for the treatment of COVID-19.

PAXHERBAL is a clinic and a research laboratory, also known as Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratory, a Nigerian alternative medicine product manufacturing company.

It had issued an advertorial to the public titled: “An official statement by Pax herbal on the treatment of COVID-19”.

The advertorial claimed that Pax herbal Clinic has developed a new drug called: PAX CVD PLUS for the treatment of COVID-19, and that the laboratory is working with NAFDAC to speed up approval for the use of the drugs.

The advertorial was also alleged to have claimed that NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has appointed experts to work with Paxherbal on what the laboratory described as a special project.

Meanwhile, in a statement obtained by News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday, NAFDAC DG refuted the collaboration, adding that the laboratory was yet to be registered with the agency or listed for the treatment of COVID-19.

“The attention of the Agency has been drawn to an advertorial from Paxherbal clinic and research laboratories, NAFDAC wishes to inform the public that PAX CVD PLUS has not been registered nor listed for treatment of COVID-19.

“To set the records straight, at no time did the DG or anyone in the agency appoint any expert or staff to work with Paxherbal on any project.

“The company wrote a letter to NAFDAC informing the agency about their development of an antiviral plant based drug with potential to treat COVID-19 and an invitation to join their research team.

“The Agency politely declined since as a regulator of clinical trials, participation would be a conflict of interest.

“However, we encouraged them to carry out clinical trials which should be under strict supervision of the agency to establish efficacy of their product.

“However, the clinical trial has not taken place,” NAFDAC said.

According to the agency, it was unfortunate that PAXHERBAL have made claims that were not backed up by facts and this response was intended to correct the erroneous impression created by the advertorial.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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