War On Fake Drug Experiencing Slow Progress in Northern Nigeria

Efforts of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to reduce the incidence of fake drugs in northern Nigeria is being resisted by Pharmaceutical drug-sellers in the northern city of Kano who are fighting moves by NAFDAC to close their businesses in its renewed effort to clamp down on counterfeit drug sales in Nigeria.

According to NAFDAC, most of northern Nigeria’s counterfeit drugs are sold in Kano – the commercial nerve centre of the north, with the Sabon Gari Market serving as a hub where drug traders operate without regulation.  In the words of Ibrahim Musa, a doctor at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital,  “Anyone can go out there and buy any kind of drug without control or a prescription, with most of them being fake drugs sold like vegetables.”

NAFDAC and Kano State health officials have long accused Sabon Gari traders of running a thriving counterfeit drug business, complete with fake drug warehouses, the most common counterfeit drugs being antibiotics and anti-malarials.

With Kano’s population put at 9.2 million, the state provides a huge market for such fake pharmaceutical drugs.

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