COVID-19: NAPPSA Warns against Misinformation, Use of Fake Drugs for Treatments

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Martins Ifijeh

The Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) has expressed concerns over the amount of misinformation about the COVID-19, and the activities of some unscrupulous companies/people who are taking advantage of the pandemic to market and sell unproven and illegal COVID-19 prevention and treatment options.

NAPPSA therefore warned that the dire consequences of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria may take a more frightening turn if the country does not join the global effort to curtail the trend.

These fears were articulated in a recent release by NAPPSA entitled “COVID-19 Pandemic Update” signed by the association’s President, Dr Anthony Ikeme and the Secretary, Dr Aloysius Ibe.

NAPPSA, which was founded about 14 years ago, represents over 7,000 pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, and pharmaceutical educators of Nigerian origin living in the United States and Canada.

“It is extremely important for everyone to know that some people and companies are trying to profit from this pandemic by selling unproven and illegally marketed products that make false claims, such as being effective against the coronavirus,” NAPPSA stated in the release.

According to the association, “fraudulent COVID-19 products can come in many varieties, including dietary supplements and other foods, as well as products claiming to be tests, drugs, medical devices, or vaccines.”

The association said these are trying times when people and nations are desperately searching for solutions against a strange disease, which makes it easy for these unconscionable characters to take advantage of people’s fears.

NAPPSA thus urged the Nigerian authorities and regulatory agencies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to closely monitor the market to ensure people’s miseries are not further compounded through exposure to dangerous substances marketed as palliatives.