The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned that removing drugs and poisons from the exclusive legislative list will raise the prevalence of counterfeit medicines and other drug related offences.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) had, penultimate week, warned the Federal Government on the dangers of planned move of drug matters from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.
The pharmacists warned that an attempt to place drug matters on concurrent list would only seriously amplify the dimensions of the fake drug syndrome, drug misuse and abuse, as well as other major aberrations in drug distribution endeavours.
A reform panel of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Governor Nasir el-Rufai recently proposed to move drug matters, which are presently on the Exclusive List (Item 21 of part I of the second schedule of the 1999 Constitution) to the concurrent list.
NAFDAC, in a statement yesterday signed by its Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said: “No nation ever compromise the well-being of its citizens by way of liberalising and decentralising medicine legislation.
“A thorough analysis of global best practices showed that where regulatory controls are placed on the exclusive legislative list, the prevalence of counterfeiting and other drug-related vices are at the lowest ebb…”
It said such proposed action would lead to multiplicity of drug legislations having innumerable dire consequences that include lack of uniformity of standards of drug products across the country, chaotic drug legislation that will discourage foreign investment and disruption of existing collaboration with international support partners and donor agencies, defeat of the purpose of the Federal Government’s drive on ease of doing business in the country as different jurisdictions will have different requirements and proliferation of organised crime and money laundering offences.
According to NAFDAC, the reasons for placing drugs and poisons on the exclusive legislative list by countries include but not limited to firm control on drugs and drug-related matters by the Federal Government, prescription and enforcement of grades and minimum standards of quality for drugs and drug products, prevention of drug misuse and abuse by central regulatory control on substances of abuse, among others.
Protection of patent rights for innovators of medicines to prevent infringement and promote data exclusivity; entrenchment of a rational and properly structured drug distribution system; enhancement of compliance with Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement; and strengthening of regulatory mechanisms in line with globalisation and medicines regulatory harmonisation.