NAFDAC, WHO warn of fake COVID-19 medical products

*Uncertified sanitisers with no product information in circulation ─NAFDAC

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has alerted the Nigerian consumers to be wary of the distribution and sale of unregistered hand sanitisers in various parts of the country.

NAFDAC, in a recent statement Thursday, April 2 disclosed that the unregistered sanitisers are illegally distributed and sold under various names.

Such uncertified sanitisers in circulation, according to the regulatory agency, include: Mighti Shield Instant Hand Sanitiser; Assured Instant Hand Sanitiser; One Step Hand Sanitiser; Shield Germ Hand Sanitiser.

Others are Lima Hand Sanitiser; Senarita Hand Sanitiser, AUS-B Hand Sanitiser, Bakson Hand Sanitiser and Peru Hand Sanitiser.

The statement added that packaging labels of the affected unregistered hand sanitisers have no NAFDAC Registration Numbers, batch numbers, manufacturing and expiry dates, and no names cum full location addresses of their manufacturers.

“The quality and safety of the unregistered hand sanitisers are not guaranteed because they are not evaluated and registered by NAFDAC,” the agency said.

It, therefore, urged members of the public to use genuine NAFDAC registered hand sanitisers.

It is recalled that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency recently gave expedited review to many businesses that are capable of producing sanitisers in Nigeria.

“For sanitisers approved by NAFDAC, we appealed to the public not to hike prices suggested by manufacturers to the point that the public cannot afford.

Sanitiser is needed to prevent spreading of COVID-19 infection, and if sold at exorbitant price, somebody who could not afford to purchase may be exposed to the risk of infection.

“NAFDAC has heightened surveillance in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to prevent distribution and sale of unregistered hand sanitisers,” the statement said.

In the meantime, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned consumers, healthcare professionals and health authorities worldwide against an increasing number of fake medical products with claim to prevent, detect, treat or cure COVID-19.

In a statement Wednesday, April 1 said the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 has increased demand for medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and reagents – all related to COVID-19.

The global health body observed that the increased demand had created an opportunity for ill-intended persons to distribute falsified medical products.

“Due diligence is required from all actors in the procurement, use and administration of medical products, in particular those affected by the current crisis of, or related to, COVID-19,” WHO said. 

The global health body stated that it had received multiple reports regarding falsified in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and laboratory reagents for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

“To date, eight countries Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Russian, Singapore, Republic of Korea, United States of America have listed IVDs for COVID-19 diagnosis based on expedited regulatory assessments.

“Please note that, in the European Union, regulatory compliance for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics are self-declared by the manufacturer,” it said.

To assist member states and stakeholders, WHO said it has published the links to these emergency lists, together with contact details that provide information on IVDs authorised for use in the jurisdictions of the International Medical Device Regulators Forum, as well as policies and guidance.

It said WHO would provide updated versions as fresh information is available.

“End-users are encouraged to check the labelling against the information posted by regulatory authorities upon listing to ensure they are in possession of the genuine products.

“This information might include product name, product code, expiry date, instructions for use and manufacturer details,” the statement noted.[do_widget id=heateor_sss_sharing-2]