Fighting The Menace Of Adulterated Drugs

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The widely acclaimed assertion that Nigeria is a blessed country is undisputable. Some people have humourously coined that God is a Nigerian because of the quantum of blessings that have become the lot of Nigeria.

The country is not only blessed with abundant human and material resources, but also been spared of severe natural catastrophes like tsunamis and earthquakes that has devastated other developed countries of the world. Perhaps, several nations have battled with natural occurrences that are beyond immediate control.

Be that as it may, Nigeria is not totally free of man-made problems. One of such problems is the adulteration of products which has assumed a high proportion In the country. More worrisome is the fact that situation has permeated deeply into the socio-economic fabrics of the country, with its attendant consequences and hazards- health crisis mental disorders, body aliments, deformation and even death, occasioned by fake products.Such risks usually affect the health of innocent citizens who patronize drugs vendors in motor parks, illegal patent shops, road sides as well as market places. The same scenario applies to the use of fake and adulterated drugs usually prescribed by quacks and unqualified medical practitioners. As a result, many Nigerians who would have been alive today, to contribute to National growth and development have been sent to their early graves.

By and large, fake and adulterated drugs have inflicted severe pain than untold hardship on the people (especially victims) instead of ameliorating the perceived problems (illness). The recent disclosure by the Director General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, that the commission confiscated pirated products worth N3.4 million is shocking. It is the confirmation of the statement recently credited to the Director General Standard Organistion of Nigeria (SON) Mr. Joseph Odumodu, that 80% of products in Nigeria are fake. The way and manner perpetrators of this act usually have their way and regularly smile to the bank simply suggests that there is a foul means somewhere. It presupposes that, vital components of national compass might have been tempered with, making it extremely difficult for the nation to find solution to the problem. There is no doubt that those who engage in the business of adulterated drugs are unscrupulous, selfish, greedy and lack respect for human lives.

They, by this very act, have also constituted themselves into a cabal of anti-societal progress. Accordingly, the get-rich-quick syndrome becomes the order of the day as they further would stop at nothing to make profits from their business. This indicates that some racketeers have partnership with law enforcement agents.No matter the reason to engage in the adulteration of drugs, it must be stated clearly that al those who indulge in this devilish act are obviously on a suicide mission, they forget that their children and other close relatives could end up consuming those poisonous products. However, Nigerians and other respected global bodies have continued to evolve measures to stem the tide but their effort seems to yield less result as the situation worsens by the day.

Even though the National Agency for Food Drug administration and Control (NAFDAC), pharmaceutical bodies and security agencies have done a lot, yet more is needed to be done to check the situation before it gets out of hand.Commendably, some pharmaceutical companies have made some authentication services that would enable buyers scratch and check some numbers and verify the authenticity of the drug they are buying. The provision of this service should also be extended to all drug manufacturers. There is an urgent need too, to borrow a leaf from developed nations who employ functional means to curb drug adulteration in their country.

Let us therefore not loose sight of the fact that those who adulterate drugs are not spirits; they are men and women living among the people in our society. Hence it would be helpful for the public to offer useful information about the perpetrators of this crime to law enforcement agencies. The invaluable contributions of t he mass media towards the fight against fake and \adulterated drugs in Nigeria, needs encouragement and support from everyone. Be alert, be vigilant and steer from fake drugs.

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