The Director General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye has warned the public to beware of a fake anti-hypertension drug in circulation.
According to a statement released by the DG of NAFDAC on Tuesday in Abuja, the drug is currently in circulation in Cameroon, a West Africa country.
She said, “NAFDAC is alerting the public, especially healthcare providers on the circulation of confirmed falsified Hydrochlorothiazide 50mg tablets in Cameroun.
“The falsified product has been found to contain Glibenclamide instead of Hydrochlorothiazide.
“In March 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was informed by an NGO in Cameroun that a medicine, presented as Hydrochlorothiazide 50mg tablets, has caused hypoglycaemia in patients.
“Confirmatory laboratory analysis has established that the product did not contain hydrochlorothiazide, the stated active ingredient, glibenclamide was instead identified,” Adeyeye said.
She said further that the original version of the drug was for hypertension treatment but the fake ones in circulation could expose users to grave danger.
“Hydrochlorothiazide is used as an anti-hypertensive and diuretic medicine, whereas Glibenclamide is an anti-diabetic medicine.
“The falsified medicine presents a risk for patients who are taking hydrochlorothiazide for the treatment of hypertension.
“The label on the plastic container of this falsified product states Laboratoires Sterop as the manufacturer, however, this company has confirmed to WHO that it did not manufacture or supply the falsified product.
“The Falsified hydrochlorothiazide 50mg is presented in plastic containers of 1000 tablets each,” she said.
Prof Adeyeye revealed the said fake anti-hypertension drug batch number is 16G04 and it also has 16/2017 as the manufacturer date and 30/05/2021 as the expiry date
“The batch number, as well as a number of other features shown on the label of the falsified Hydrochlorothiazide 50mg tablets, do not correspond with genuine manufacturing records. The label is English and French languages.
She advised importers, wholesalers, and retailers to avoid illegal importation and sale of the drug in Nigeria as surveillance had been heightened to prevent such.
“Surveillance has been strengthened by NAFDAC at all ports of entry to prevent importation of the falsified Hydrochlorothiazide 50mg tablets from Cameroon.
“NAFDAC has also heightened surveillance to prevent distribution and sale of the falsified product.
“Healthcare providers and other members of the public are advised to be vigilant and contact the nearest NAFDAC office with any information on the product,” she said.
She urged those already in possession of the drug to submit it to the nearest NAFDAC office.
She advised consumers to report any adverse effects related to the use of medicines to the nearest NAFDAC office, its Toll-Free number 20543, to all Networks, or via its e-mail email@example.com.