The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said that the test results of the Modena COVID-19 vaccine will be ready latest by weekend.
The agency also said that following the surveillance mounted across the country, it has been able to apprehend over 70 substandard and falsified drugs being sold in the market.
Speaking at a drug sensitization programme against fake drugs organised by NAFDAC in Abuja on Wednesday, the Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the Modena COVID-19 vaccine that was recently delivered to the country is still undergoing testing at the agency’s laboratory.
She said: “We have been working round the clock in terms of making sure that we do the testing on the vaccine. The health of our people is very key to us at NAFDAC. It is not something you go to the laboratory and come out with the result immediately.
“It will take like three to four days, but we are trying to shorten it as much as possible.”
Adeyeye said the main goal of NAFDAC is to ensure that the vaccine is good for Nigerians.
Speaking on the survey conducted by NAFDAC on the prevalence of substandard drugs in Nigeria before the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, Adeyeye said the country has 17 per cent prevalence rate of substandard and falsified drugs.
She however explained that the survey is no longer current as it was done early last year before the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Before COVID-19, we had 17 per cent prevalence rate of substandard drugs in Nigeria.
“Actually in terms of substandard and fake drugs, South-west has the highest prevalent rate. In terms of states, Lagos has the highest and we are working on that to reduce it,” she said.
The NAFDAC DG disclosed that so far, the agency has successfully apprehended over 70 substandard and falsified products through its surveillance efforts.
She attributed the inability of NAFDAC to conduct fresh survey on substandard drugs to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted activities and programmes in all sectors of the economy.
Again, Adeyeye blamed the influx and prevalence of substandard products in the country on the absence of a regulatory body like NAFDAC at the various ports of entry.
She said the agency has since overcome the challenge and has been working hard to stem the tide of distribution of substandard products around the country.
“We are using a multifaceted approach to reduce substandard and falsified medicine in the country. The federal government has approved a device that can be used to know whether a medicine is falsified or not and we are going through the process of procurement in order to make that available throughout Nigeria,” she added.
Adeyeye also spoke on the essence of the sensitization campaign, saying that it was targeted at market women and men, road transport workers and employers, as well as community youth groups.
“It is our expectations that at the end of the campaign, participants and target audience will become dependable partners of NAFDAC and be in the forefront of the campaigns by disseminating the information and messages to the people at the grassroots,” she said.