The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned that the illegal Importation of medical syringes may kill the local pharmaceutical industry.
The director-general of NAFDAC. Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who gave the warning in a statement yesterday, urged members of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) to think more of the interest of the country over and above personal gains in their activities as clearing agents at the nation’s ports.
The DG narrated how she marvelled at the stupendous investments committed to local production of syringes in the country by a local pharmaceutical company during a recent facility tour.
She said that the standard of the facilities she met on ground was comparable to whatever facility that could be found in the US or any country in Europe, adding that after the facility tour and being led into the warehouse, she was highly disturbed at the sight of huge unsold products.
According to her, over 1.5 billion units of the product were lying untouched in the warehouse due to low sales, due to the influx of imported syringes into the country, despite the high import duty slammed on the product to protect the local market.
The DG, however, noted with regret that intelligence reports reaching her indicated that some compromises are being made at the port of entry in allowing illegal importation of unregistered containers of syringes into the country.
She revealed that a publication by USFDA stated that some syringes that come from Southeast Asia are of bad quality, adding that those products didn’t fly by night and land in different warehouses in Nigeria: rather, they entered the country through individuals.
The NAFDAC DG expressed empathy towards manufacturers, stating, “I understand the challenges of not making sales, especially after investing a significant amount of money. That’s why I am particularly meticulous when it comes to overseeing our export processes.”