Senate Directs Health Committee to Investigate Orji’s Motion on Banned Anti-malaria Drugs

  • NAFDAC says no Killer anti-malaria Drugs in circulation

Martins Ifijeh

The Senate at plenary recently directed its Committee on Health to as a matter of urgent national importance investigate Senator T.A.Orji’s motion on the sale and consumption in Nigeria of anti-malaria drugs banned by the European Union (EU).

Orji, who represents Abia Central at the Red Chamber, while presenting his motion revealed that the EU recently banned the sale and consumption of 42 anti-malaria drugs in all countries within the European Union.

He told the Senate that the banned drugs were still sold in Nigeria to unsuspecting members of the public thereby endangering their lives.

As part of its resolution, the Senate mandated its Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary) chaired by Senator Lanre Tejuoso (APC, Ogun Central) to urgently carry out a holistic investigation into the matter and report back to the Senate for further action to save the lives of Nigerians.
Among banned anti-malaria drugs listed by Orji include: Alaxin 60mg tablet (dihydroartémisinine)B/8; Alaxin oral suspension (dihydroartémisinine) FL/80ml; Amodiaquine 200mg compressed B/1000; Amodiaquine 200mg compressed B/1000; Arinate 100mg tablet (artésunate) B/6; Arinate 50mg tablet (artésunate) B/6; Arsumax 50mg tablet (artésunate) B/12; Artemax 60mg tablet (dihydroartémisinine) B/8;

Meanwhile, the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) has said the claims of killer anti-malaria drugs in the country were false, adding that the allegedly banned anti-malaria medicines were oral mono therapies containing single Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) such as; Artesunate as contained in Arinate Tablet, Amodiaquine as contained in Camoquine, Dihydroartemisinin contained in Alaxin Tablet and Pyrimethamine contained in Daraprim Tablet.

Speaking during a chat with the media, the Acting Director General of the Agency, Dr. Yetunde Oni, said: “These anti-malaria mono therapies are not recommended for treatment of malaria in Nigeria. The recommended anti-malaria medicine for treatment of malaria in Nigeria are Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTS).” She said.

She said there was no killer anti-malaria medicines in Nigeria, adding that it is important that this message is conveyed to the already agitated members of the public to avoid unnecessary panic”.

She warned that any anti-malaria medicine that does not carry a scratch-and-call or scratch-and-text inscription is not not genuine and not recognize by NAFDAC. She also said the agency is working on a software that will be compatible with phone for easy access of medicines to confirm it expiration date and it originality.