Drug pushers in Nigeria may receive automatic life sentence
26th January 2012
According to an article published in the “Tribune” newspaper, the Nigerian government are planning to impose a compulsory life prison sentence for those manufacturers and importers who are found to be guilty of medicines counterfeiting. The Director General of the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii was speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Nigeria, and said “We looked back at the Nigerian law, it turned out that, paradoxically, we are the most lenient when it comes to punishing of offenders even though we are the most hit. We are the major victim of fake drugs because it is shipped here because we manufacture almost nothing. More than 70 percent of the medicines consumed in Nigeria are imported from different countries including China and India . So, we looked back at our system and we discovered that our current law for punishment for manufacturing of fake dugs is just 15 years jail term and the alternative is just N500, 000:00-fine.” He further went on to add “Besides, we have never been able to secure the maximum penalty of 15 years jail term; but we are asking to review the current law to give stiffer penalty to show the world and also our people that we are very serious about fighting this problem of counterfeit medicines which have dire consequences on the population both from economic and public health perspectives.” This follows the tireless work of previous Director General of NAFDAC, Dora Akunyili, who assumed office in 2001 and quickly achieved a celebrity status in Nigeria because of her tough stand against corruption. Prior to Akunyili taking charge of NAFDAC, staff were found to be violating their position in order to extort money from honest, genuine manufacturers, whilst simultaneously accepting bribes from counterfeiters in return for access to the Nigerian medicines market. After Akunyili’s rise to Director General, the agency started to broadcast songs on radio and television to increase public awareness of the dangers of counterfeit drugs, and to encourage them to report any potentially suspicious looking drugs. We can assure you of security, confidentiality, and peace of mind at Medical Specialists. We provide our patients with genuine branded medication only, available with or without a prescription, or browse our chemist shop for a wide range of other products. We now offer even lower prices on Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Retin-A Gel, and much more.