The Hon. Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole has re-stated the commitment of the President Mohammadu Buhari led APC Administration to protect the health of Nigerians and ensure that the people have access to quality medicines whenever such is required.
Adewole, who spoke at the presentation of ISO/IEC certificate to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control [NAFDAC] ‘ Laboratory in Agulu, Anambra State, by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention [USP], expressed his joy that the Agency has been certified competent to test quality of drugs in line with international standards.
He however charged the Agency to sustain the accreditation by working hard and without compromising the integrity of NAFDAC., and promised the support of his Ministry to ensure the country attain a network of ISO/IEC Certified Laboratories across the country for a more effective fight against sub-standard drugs.
In her welcome address, the Ag. Director General of NAFDAC, Yetunde Oni, explained that the Laboratory has been accredited to undertake multiple Pharmaceutical testing methods which include, High Performance Liquid Chromatography [HPLC], Ultra-Violet/Visible Spectrophometry, Dissolution Testing, Uniformity of Dosage, among others.
The implication of this is that the Laboratory can undertake the testing of all classes of Pharmaceutical products, raw materials and excipients and the results of such testing is acceptable globally.
She noted the contributions of Partners and Sponsors especially the United States Agency for International Development, [USAID} and the USP to the success of the accreditation exercise which declared the Laboratory competent.
She also said NAFDAC was working consistently and steadfastly to comply with International regulations and Policies which has resulted in several of the Agencies Other Laboratories obtaining Certification by International accreditation bodies.
Also, speaking at the occasion, Jude Nwokike of USP said apart from Agulu Lab, Yaba, Lagos Lab has also been re-accredited thereby making Nigeria the first Country supported by his organization in Africa with two ISO/IEC accredited Laboratories
According to Nwokike, this accreditation has given the Labs the capacity to test about 80% of drugs in the Nigerian Market. He also noted that the location of Agulu Lab was symbolic due to its nearness to Onitsha market known for distribution of fake drugs in Nigeria.
The Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Ikem Okeke who represented the Governor, Willie Obiano said the state was working to support the fight against fake and substandard drugs and make sure its citizens are protected against such.
He said the government was working towards providing Health Insurance Scheme for its citizens to prevent them from patronizing fake drug dealers as they have realized that cost, at times, makes people buy fake drugs which are, in most cases, cheaper than the authentic drugs.
Director [Media and Public Relations]
Federal Ministry of Health