NAFDAC Intercepts Trailer Load of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

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Dr. Yetunde Oni

Martins Ifijeh
Following an intelligence report and surveillance mounted at Iddo Motor Park in Lagos by men of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, a Kano-bound trailer load of counterfeit pharmaceutical products has been intercepted by the Agency.

The products, which includes Tramadol and other pharmaceutical products, also contains Toluene diisocyanate 80/20 (TDI), a highly regulated and controlled chemical that could be used as a precursor in the manufacture of illicit drugs and chemical weapon by terrorists.

Stating this in a press briefing recently, the Acting Director General, NAFDAC, Dr. Yetunde Oni, who said the counterfeiters used bundles of second-hand clothes (a.k.a. Okrika), measuring tapes, screw drivers, food products and some other registered NAFDAC regulated products to conceal the counterfeit medicines, added that internationally controlled precursor chemicals were also found in the truck.

“Violative medicinal and chemical products discovered which the agency evacuated to its warehouse are: Dr. Relly Extra (Paracetamol, Diclofenac and Caffeine tabs, 325mg50mg30mg); Dicloforte 550 (Diclofenac sodium 50mg) 470 cartons x 20 x 5 x 10 x 1 x10tabs; Toluene diisocyanate 80/20 (TDI), 10 drums x 250kg Tramadol 225mg/200mg, 25 cartons, among
others. The agency has not registered any Tramadol 225mg or 200mg strength and added that the strength of tramadol intercepted is not approved by NAFDAC for registration,” she maintained. Adding that owners of the intercepted products would be prosecuted after due investigation.

Similarly, the Agency in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano State Command, has arrested one Mr. Ikechukwu Adiba for being in possession of
counterfeit packaging materials of Augmentin powder for oral suspension for infants and children.

The DG said operatives traced Mr. Adiba to a provision shop located at No. 8B Burma Road, Sabon Gari which was raided by the Agency’s operatives, with four cartons of counterfeit Augmentin powder, empty bottles in sacks, Augmentin tablets and packaging materials recovered.

“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to have been involved in the business since 2010. Investigation revealed that Mr. Ikechukwu Adiba manufactures the dangerous products in his residential apartment in Kano,” she added.