The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Ohii has suggested that dealers in counterfeit drugs should henceforth be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty. The Agency has completed arrangements to sponsor a bill that will make this become law.
According to the DG, he would have preferred that people found guilty of such offences be sentenced to death as is done for drug dealers in China. One cannot help but agree with this stand by the DG of NAFDAC, especially when we consider the manner of dangers that these peddlers of fake drugs expose millions of Nigerians to. However, we should realise that that there is no basis for the comparison drawn by the DG.
As a matter of fact, being on of the formost counries in the world as far as pharmaceuticals is concerned, China does not have the type problems facing Nigeria in terms of counterfeit drug dealing. The DG can help Nigerians in this regard if actions geared towards curbing the activities of fake drug producers within the country are tightened; and also through NAFDAC’s working hand in hand with the customs agency to prevent the importation of fake drugs into the country.
Should we choose to compare the regime of Dr Paul Orhii to that of his former boss, Professor Dora Akunyili, as the DG of NAFDAC, Orhii seems still to be finding his foot.