Enlisting technology on war against fake drugs

By Ken Nwogbo   |   13 May 2016   |   12:13 am  
NAFDAC

NAFDAC

Enlisting technology in the war against fake and counterfeit medicines is a great initiative that is paying off and safeguarding precious lives.

This is because staying ahead of fake drug merchants is better than preventing the proliferation of counterfeit drugs all over the country.
Counterfeit drugs are a widespread problem in Nigeria. They are a dangerous and sometimes deadly trick for quick profits for the merchants of death.

With global revenue of $200 billion from fake and counterfeit drugs, there is very attractive incentive to continue in merchandizing deaths.
Authorities fear that with the entrance of drug barons into fake drugs business, it has become more sophisticated, more globalised and more militarized.

It is also estimated that about $12 billion is lost in wages and salaries due to counterfeit/substandard medicines since failed treatment leads to more days out of work.

Like other counterfeits, they look like real products. But they are bad copies of the original. At best, they have little or no medicinal value; at worst they are dangerous.

It is scary, not knowing what was going on until one is a victim of fake drugs.Fake drugs may be contaminated or contain the wrong or no active ingredients. They could have the right active ingredient but at the wrong dose.Counterfeit drugs are illegal and are harmful to health.

That’s why we welcome National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC’s) cutting-edge tool that seems to be helping dislodge the deadly traders in fake anti-malaria drugs.

This tool riding on mobile technology is known as Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) Truscan technology, works with mobile phones; hence it enables consumers check whether a drug is fake or original with the use of the mobile phone.Even with the successes recorded, a lot more still need to be done. Mobile drug peddlers still a common sight in cities across the country.

Carrying the medicine on their heads, they roam the streets and villages. The more adventurous ones ride on luxurious and city buses as they chase a sale.

This must stop, NAFDAC must increase their oversight in this regards.NAFDAC should also join hands with other authorities and governments outside the country to identify the supply route for all medicines, including unlicensed and fake products.

Agreed that predicting how criminals think and how to stop them is frustrating at best, NAFDAC is also encouraged to explore other technology based initiatives to stay ahead of these peddlers of death.



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