Nasarawa State partners with PCN, NAFDAC to combat fake drugs


The Nasarawa State Government says it is partnering with the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) and National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to fight the sale and consumption of fake drugs in the state.

Malam Ishaku Abari, Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Health, made the disclosure on Tuesday at a one-day sensitisation workshop organised by PCN, on Continuing Professional Development Education Programme for practicing Pharmacist Technicians in the state.

Abari said the collaborators would use the TruScan (Raman Spectroscopy), a modern testing device to detect fake drugs.

The  TruScan testing device is a portable device introduced by NAFDAC to detect counterfeit medicines at the point of purchase.

Abari, represented by Haruna Wakili, Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the ministry, added that the device would give room for officials to conduct field-based screening of pharmaceutical samples so as to promptly and accurately identify fake drugs.

He said the collaboration with PCN and NAFDAC was crucial and would go a long way in ridding the state of counterfeit drugs owing to the role of the two bodies in in that regard.

“The bottom line is to mobilise support and collaboration from all stakeholders in strengthening our efforts in expanding the existing systems against the sale and consumption of counterfeit drugs in this state.

This is why the government is collaborating with PCN and NAFDAC to make use of TruScan to fight counterfeit drugs,” he said.

Abari also called on the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to fast-track the process of setting up Mega Drug Distribution Centers (MDDCs), as their own contribution in eradicating counterfeit drugs in the state.

He explained that the role of pharmacists and Pharmacist Technicians, especially in communities across the state cannot be overemphasised as they ensured patients get quality drugs in treating their illnesses.

He decried the rising rate of health expectations in the state but added that it was committed to giving quality and affordable healthcare services to its residents.

“To cope with the ever growing health expectations, the state health sector is undergoing reforms and transformations.

 We have introduced changes in the roles and responsibilities of the personnel that man our facilities, especially at the community level so as to meet the health needs of the people,” he said.

Also, The PCN Registrar, Mr Elijah Mohammed, represented by Mr Peter Iliya, Head of Public Relations of the council, said the collaboration was apt, and also lauded the government’s role in improving healthcare services for residents.

“We really appreciate the Nasarawa State Government for the giant strides it has achieved in the health sector in the last seven years.

I also want to appreciate all health professionals for helping the administration of Gov. Umaru Al-Makura to achieve what it has achieved so far.

Lets pray that whoever takes over as governor in Nasarawa State will build on the achievements of the current administration of Governor Al-Makura,”he said.

Mohammed, who revealed that the PCN was a professional regulatory agency for the

practice of pharmacy in all aspects, said the essence of the workshop was to acquaint pharmacist technicians with improved knowledge in the profession.

“Constant training of pharmacists is key because once there is missing link, it is then recipe for disaster for the healthcare sector in our country and this is why we are here today,” he said. |