NAFDAC proposes life jail for drug offenders

The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is about to review the current laws bordering on the use of counterfeit drugs and other related products in the country to ensure life imprisonment is henceforth spelt out for drug offenders.

Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, stated this in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at a one-day sensitisation workshop for NAFDAC shareholders under the theme: Adulterated and Substandard Regulated Products: A Fight for All.
Dr. Orhii, represented by the state Director of the agency, Mr Francis Ifem, said the agency was reviewing the law which stipulates a fine of N500,000 or 15 years jail term upon conviction of any offender.

He said: “The agency is reviewing the current law which stipulates a fine of N500,000 or 15 years jail term upon conviction, to make our laws serve as deterrent and be in line with international requirements for the regulation of food, drugs and other related products.”

The new law, according to him, seeks life jail term and confiscation of assets upon conviction including the compensation of victims if products are found to be the proximate cause of death or severe injury
on the victim.

The DG stressed that NAFDAC is committed to ensuring that any offence committed by drug dealers, who are in the habit of selling counterfeit drugs, will not be bailable upon conviction.

Orhii, who described counterfeit drugs as those deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled as well as those with wrong and inactive ingredients, stated that the agency has adopted various strategies including public enlightenment, law reform, national and international collaboration, cutting edge technologies among others to fight the ills.

Also speaking, the facilitator of the workshop, Mrs Christabel Okoye, said the programme is being carried out nation-wide with all patent medicine dealers brought together and briefed on the ills of
counterfeit products.

“We have recorded quite a great deal of successes with the medicine dealers forming themselves into task force. They put on uniforms and go to shops and any shop they visit and see fake drugs, they close the shop and nobody goes there again”, she added.

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