NOT less than 40 cartons of assorted expired drugs have been confiscated by the National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) at the Onitsha drug market for being illegally re-validated by traders.
By Paulinus Onah
A Deputy Director, NAFDAC at Onitsha, Christiana Essenwa told newsmen in Onitsha that after the raid, three shops were also sealed.
Mrs. Essenwa said that no arrests were made during the operation. However, the seizures followed a tip-off from good-spirited individuals; the officers went on raid at the Bridge Head Market.
“We went to the markets and what we saw was unbelievable. The dates of many expired products were cleaned and revalidated,” she said.
“Items recovered included, stamps, pads, seals, acrylic dissolvers and nail polish removers, used for cleaning dates before revalidation and specialised markers of different colours used for changing dates.
“Other recovered items included, anti-malaria drugs, antibiotics, antifungal, anti-diabetics, anti-hypertensive, multivitamins, disinfectants, capsules, injections and snake venom Antiserum that have all expired.
“What we got there totaled 40 cartons of expired products, some of which have already been illegally re-validated, while others have been cleaned and about to be re-validated.
“These products are very hazardous, considering the fact that the validity dates have expired.
“Besides, it will no longer confer the expected healing when consumed,” she said.
Essenwa said the products were already going into degradation which might cause chemical reactions or introduce microbial organisms when consumed.
The deputy director said invitations had been sent to fleeing suspects to come to NAFDAC office, re-assuring that they would not be prosecuted.
She urged members of the public to be careful when purchasing products, especially drugs.
“Don’t just watch out for expiry dates but check the prints to know whether it has been tampered with.”
The deputy director reassured that the agency would continue to ensure safety of lives of the people, urging the public to always provide information that would lead to arrest of people who indulge in counterfeiting and faking of products.