The Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners, ANPMP, has appealed to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to eradicate counterfeit drugs from the market.
The National President, ANPMP, Dr Kayode Adesola, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.
The World Health Organisation reports that one of every 10 medicines fails in low-and middle-income countries because they are substandard or falsified.
Adesola also urged the agency to remove unhealthy products from the market.
He claims that, toxicity from incorrect active ingredients of counterfeit medicines has led to failure to cure or prevent future diseases.
This, he said, had resulted in increasing mortality, morbidity and the prevalence of various diseases in the country.
He stated that it was also contributing to the progression of antimicrobial resistance and drug-resistant infections.
The doctor added that this had eroded public trust in healthcare, and led to preventable deaths.
“There have been several instances of patients treating recurring malaria and this has been traced to counterfeit malaria medicines.
“Also, diabetics and hypertensive patients are increasing, many with uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes which can lead to further complications”, he said.
Adesola urged NAFDAC to intensify efforts to ensure the safety of drugs and food consumed by Nigerians.
“I know the agency is overwhelmed but the increasing level of criminality done by some unscrupulous individuals in counterfeiting goods across sectors is inimical to the health and economy of the nation.
“The health implications is that a single product can wipe out a whole village.
“Many of us have not got over the ‘My pikin’ saga; thousands of children died from that product”, he added.
The ANPMP president further noted that the health sector was overstretched, understaffed and coping with various outbreaks, adding that outbreak from consumption of counterfeit products would be disastrous for the country.
“Consuming counterfeit drugs can have serious consequences for individuals, communities and overall global public health”, he said.
Adesola also urged the Federal Government to prioritise the health sector by giving increased budget allocation to align with the 15 percent Abuja Declaration to improve the sector.