By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Not less than 40 cartons of assorted expired drugs wereÂ ThursdayÂ impounded by officials of the National Agency for Food Administration and control (NAFDAC) at the Onitsha, drug market for being illegally re-validated by traders.
A Deputy Director, NAFDAC, Mrs. Christiana Essenwa told newsmen in Onitsha that after the raid, three shops were also sealed.
Essenwa said that no arrests were made during the operation, but the seizures followed a tip-off from good-spirited individuals who gave information on the activities of traders at the Bridge Head Market, Onitsha.
“We went to the markets and what we saw was unbelievable. The dates of many expired products were erased and revalidated.
“Items recovered include stamps, pads, seals, acrylic dissolvers and nail polish removers, used for cleaning dates before re-validation and specialised markers of different colours used for changing dates.
“Other recovered items include anti-malarial drugs, antibiotics, antifungal, anti-diabetics, anti-hypertensive, multivitamins, disinfectants, capsules, injections and snake venom antiserum that have all expired.
“What we got there totaled 40 cartons of expired products, some of which have already been illegally re-validated, while others have been cleaned and about to be re-validated.
“These products are very hazardous, considering the fact that the validity dates have expired.
“Besides, it will no longer confer the expected healing when consumed,â€ she said.
Essenwa said the products were already going into degradation which might cause chemical reactions or introduce microbial organisms when consumed.
The deputy director said invitations had been sent to fleeing suspects to come to NAFDAC office, re-assuring that they would not be prosecuted.
She urged members of the public to be careful when purchasing products, especially drugs.
“Donâ€™t just watch out for expiry dates but check the prints to know whether it has been tampered with.â€
The deputy director reassured that the agency would continue to ensure safety of lives of the people, urging the public to always provide information that would lead to arrest of people who indulge in counterfeiting and faking of products.