NAFDAC cautions on fake contraceptives

By The Citizen

Women seeking emergency oral contraception and their partners should beware as fake products have flooded the Nigerian market, just as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has, for the third time in less than four weeks, paraded suspects for importation of the counterfeited popular oral contraceptive, Postinor-2 tablet, with estimated market value of more than N37.5 million.

Postinor-2 is an emergency contraceptive only. Postinor-2 is not intended as a regular method of contraception. It is used to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.

The NAFDAC's Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii, told journalists Wednesday at a press briefing in Lagos: 'This product, which is a contraceptive pill, when faked, can lead to unwanted pregnancies, damage to the womb and adversely affect the hormonal balance of the body.

'Maternal mortality will increase when a woman cannot plan for pregnancies and it makes family planning difficult. We cannot tell immediately what will happen to the health of the people when they take these fake contraceptives unless we do laboratory analysis, which we have initiated.'

Parading the latest suspect, Mr. NwachukwuOdinaka, of No. 13 Isa Street, Igando, Lagos, Orhii, said the fake contraceptives and packaging materials were imported through the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) shed, MurtalaMuhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Orhii said the product label indicates that it was manufactured in Hungary whereas the consignment was imported from China and that a total of 150,000 pieces, with an estimated market value of N37.5 million, was intercepted.

He said the suspect has been interrogated and the product sampled against him for laboratory analysis.

Orhii noted that the agency has also arrested Mr. OkwyMadu of No. 10 Oshineke Street, Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos, for the importation of packaging materials for counterfeiting of Far Away Perfume and Mr. Ikechukwu Valentine Anichebe, the managing director of Floxvik Queen Helene Company of No. 6 Nnobi Street, IpayeIba, Ojo, Lagos, for counterfeiting of cosmetic products.

Orhii said NAFDAC has increased its post-market surveillance systems to mop up all the fake contraceptives from the Nigerian market, adding that anybody that can provide useful information to the agency, which will lead to the arrest and confiscation of counterfeit products, will be rewarded.