By Doyin Ojosipe
In a bid to enforce full compliance with the use of the Mobile Authentication Service code on antimalarial and antibiotics drugs, The National Agency for Food and Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has prevailed on pharmacies and drugs warehouses to ensure that drug production companies have complied with the scheme as ultimatum for compliance expires.
In a briefing, yesterday, Director of Pharmaco-vigilance and Post Marketing Survey, Mrs. Adline Osakwe, explained that the MAS scheme was introduced in order to record a huge victory in the fight against fake and substandard drugs, while empowering the consumer with the ability to authenticate the products they are purchasing.
Osakwe also explained that the authentication of products will not only protect consumers from purchasing fake drugs, but will in the long run, help the manufacturers take the credit for their labour, while also making it easier for NAFDAC to be able to fish out fake drugs.
She added that series of meetings have been held with producers of anti-malarial and anti-biotics and Marketing Authorization Holders (MAH), so they could get involved and help sensitize consumers on the scheme.
At the exercise, in one of the standard pharmacy, H-Medix, Osakwe confirmed that a 40-60% compliance is being recorded, while drugs that are yet to carry the MAS code label will be put on hold, pending when the producers will get them coded.
However, one of the Pharmacists at H- Medix, Mr Ibrahim raised a salient point, urging NAFDAC to ensure compliance, by visiting the drug producers and sealing up their premises as that is the most effective way for the enforcement of the scheme.
The pharmacist added that, though it is a welcome idea, pharmacists alone cannot enforce the scheme, as it is not in their power to make drug producers MAS-code their products.