The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, has made it known that the agency is advocating life term jail for convicts of counterfeit products.
Dr Orhii, disclosed this on Tuesday at the formal opening of the Health Canada-NAFDAC mentorship launch meeting. He said that the agency was reviewing the current law which stipulated a fine of N500,000 or 15-year jail term on conviction of offenders involved in the sale, distribution, importation and advertisement of counterfeit regulated production.
In his speech, the NAFDAC DG also explained that the agency wanted a new law which would make the offence non-bailable, life term jail and confiscation of assets of convict as well as compensation for victims if product was found to be the cause of death or severe bodily injury.
Bemoaning counterfeiting of regulated product as the major challenge faced by the agency, he explained that a counterfeit medicine was one which was deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity or source. He noted that Nigeria had been a fallow ground on which counterfeiters thrived: “Nigeria, with a large population, a good market size, low production capacity and vast and porous borders is a prime target for counterfeiters whose drugs are taken in high volume for managing diseases of public health interest.”