The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye has revealed the agency has intercepted 6.4 billion tramadol tablets in the last one year alone.
She said the intercepted tablets are valued at N1.5 million per carton adding that 25 containers estimated at 1.7 billion were also destroyed.
The NAFDAC DG made the disclosure while presenting her one-year anniversary speech in Abuja over the weekend.
Prof Moji Adeyeye said: “Little did I know that aside from substandard and falsified medicines issue, the unsafe and illicit drugs would become a significant part of my role as the Director-General of NAFDAC in safeguarding the health of the nation. “Since my assumption of duty, the new Director of Ports Inspection Directorate and his team have intercepted 86 containers containing Tramadol and other unregulated drug products. These include 23 40-foot containers recently examined and found to have been loaded with Tramadol of various strengths from 120mg to 250mg.
“Tramadol and other unregistered pharmaceutical products that are known to be injurious to the health of the public, most importantly our youth. The Tramadol is estimated to be 6,446,100,000 tablets. The worth of Tramadol alone on the street is estimated to be at about N193,383,000,000.00 on an average cost of N1,500,000.00.”
“In addition, 321,146 cartons of other unregistered pharmaceutical products that could be worth hundreds of millions of naira. Prevention of these dangerous drugs from entering into the Nigerian markets would protect millions of youths from hazards of drug addiction that can pose threat to families, Nigerian workforce and the security of the nation at large. This would have increased the number of casualties from insurgency, armed robbery and other social vices that are known to be the aftermath effect of use of illicit drugs.”
Speaking further, she said, “The Agency secured the conviction of one of the distributors and the court ordered the destruction of the seized consignment. To further protect the health of consumers, the Agency destroyed fake, adulterated, counterfeit, banned and unwholesome NAFDAC regulated products worth N4 billion in exercises across the nation, while also clearing its Apapa warehouses that had been filled to the brim since 2013.
“This is the crux of our regulatory activities and involves almost all the technical directorates. It starts from the Ports Inspection through Laboratory Services to Pharmacovigilance and to Investigation and Enforcement. “Removal of NAFDAC from the Ports from 2011 to 2018 worsened the problem of substandard and falsified medicines, illicit drugs and unwholesome foods in the country and portended real danger to the populace,” she concluded.