As part of efforts to reduce fake and counterfeit drugs in the Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested one Mr. Udoka Offor, Mrs. Chika Nwaemeka Nwoye and Ebuka Ojeani for illegal production and counterfeiting of Codeine syrups, Archillin, among others.
Offor was said to have been arrested in Abia State where he was in possession of COF and COLD with Codeine syrup, 28 cartons of 50 bottles x 100ml.
He was said to have confessed to producing the syrup in his one room rented apartment at Asaba, Delta state and markets same at No. E/254, Linkap Line, Head Bridge Market, Onitsha, Anambra State.
He said: â€œI always buy the original product from the market, reduce the fill volume and mix it with borehole water to produce the exact volume per bottle thereby making more quantity of the syrup, which is sold to unsuspecting members of the public.
According to NAFDACâ€™s Acting Director General, Nwoye, who was the South East Area Sales Manager of Archy Pharmeceutical Limited, was arrested at her residence in Delta State on the 29th June, 2017. Adding that the suspect led NAFDAC team to Ebuka.
“Several cartons of the fake product were found at the premises of Mr. Ebuka aka Ebu-Young. The two suspects who were obviously taking advantage of the market opportunities provided by the original products have been arraigned in court” NAFDAC said.
Mrs Oni said the Agency had recently issued a public notice in some newspapers warning importers, distributors and marketers of some NAFDAC regulated products contained in the import prohibition list.
The banned items, she said are redefined vegetable oil and fat, cane or beer sugar and chemically purÃ©e sucrose in solid form containing added flavoring or coloring matter in retail packs, cocoa butter, powder and cakes, Spaghetti or noodles, fruit juice in retail packs, water including mineral waters and aerated waters containing added sugar or sweetening matter or flavored, ice snow, other non-alcoholic beverages, among others.
Mrs. Oni appeal to the public to work with NAFDAC by providing information for swift actions to prosecute illegal product and distribution of fake products.
The Director for Investigation and Enforcement, Mr. Kingsley Ejiakfor, the agency ” had presented a bill before the National Assembly to increase the punishment of offenders. For counterfeit, we are considering a we life jail term. We have the whistle blowing provision to compensate whistle blowers and there are punishments if they are not true,â€ he added.