The sells of fake drugs have been under reported and have not been given much attention to be researched even in scientific community.
According to NAFDAC,a fake drug in Nigeria includes preparation without active ingredient/or incorrect amount of pharmaceutical active ingredient,toxic preparation,expired drugs that are relabeled, drugs issued without complete manufacturing information and drugs that are unregistered with National agency for food and drug administration(NAFDAC).
About 80% of drugs utilized by patients in katsina metropolis are purchased from private pharmaceutical stores, and street vendors.These private places are alledged to have been patronising in buying their pharmaceutical products from unauthorized dealers who are going from shopes to shopes to sell their faked drugs, because these hawkers sell their products chiefly and the private pharmacies make huge profits This therefore make it difficult to be controlled.
Katsina state has been among the worst hit with influx of counterfeit drugs due to it close proximity with Niger republic,where fake drugs are alledged to be warehoused before being smuggled to the state.
Some Chinese pharmaceutical companies are alledged to be involved in this hugely lucrative business but one of the deadliest in the world, because china is famously known for all, and making for all.
Responses from government
Katsina state witnesses frequent seizures of fake drugs by the Nigeria drug law enforcement agency(NDLEA)Mostly in private pharmacies,markets,warehouses and even on the road during stop and search operations.
Fake drug as prime killer
No any product in the world has the capacity to harm or kill, as much as kill its consumers, asdo fake drugs.
Lost of public confidence on medication?
Many people nowadays complain about strange adverse allergic reactions whenever they take pharmaceutical drugs and unrecover completely or quickly when they fall sick.This is due to presence of incorrect amount of pharmaceutical active ingredient,pharmaceutical active ingredient is completely missing or it’s already expired but has been relabeled.
Illiteracy in western education?
Despite being famous and enriched with academics and academicians in western style of education,there are still significant number of people who are illiterate in western education.And this contribute hugely in inability to squarely contain the problem,because manufacturing information are written in western style of education which cannot be understood by the people who are mostly fall in the conterfeiters traps, this manufacturing information is enshrined in NAFDAC Decree.
Research conducted so far
Recent scientific research conducted by this writer has found out that katsina state particularly metropolis is heavily under siege by drug counterfeiters, because the drugs analyzed were innocently good-looking but deadliest.It was forensically established that in every ten paracetamol brands analyzed,six brands were found to contain incomplete manufacturing information.Also, in every three paracetamol syrup brands analyzed forensically,one brand was found to contain incorrect amount of pharmaceutical active ingredient which can be inferred that these pharmaceutical products may pose serious threat and even lead to mortality if not checkmated.
It’s now generally inferred that,most pharmaceutical drugs circulating in the private pharmacies and even in some public hospitals may be fake which poses serious health problems.
As a matter of urgency,NAFDAC should establish a forensic laboratory in katsina, so that every pharmaceutical drug will be subjected to forensic analysis before being administered to the patients. Currently, NAFDAC has only one forensic laboratory headquared in kaduna state making it highly unlikely to analyze pharmaceutical products in every Northwestern state particularly in katsina state.
Kano state government had successfully established NAFDAC-Like agency which saddles with responsibility of forensically analysing not only locally made pharmaceutical products but also internationally imported pharmaceutical products,it’s therefore pertinent for katsina state government to urgently establish such agency in order to be able to checkmate this gravious problem.
Katsina state government should also provide enough pharmaceutical drugs in hospitals in order to repel people from sourcing their pharmaceutical products from prively owned pharmaceutical stores which have become magnetic for low-income patients.
Both governmental and non-governmental organizations should enlighten people on how to identify Fake drugs.
Imrana salisu is a student from department of pure and industrial chemistry, umaru musa yar’adua university katsina