The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as a Category 3 Regulatory Agency.
NAFDAC’s Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye announced this in a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that, despite WHO’s classification, the country’s markets are flooded with fake drigs, make up products and toiletries.
Recalling the hurdles crossed to achieve this feat, an obviously overjoyed Prof. Adeyeye said:
“We started this journey January of 2018, about 5 weeks after my resumption and the journey was very tasking, WHO global bench marking is all about comparing regulatory agencies that would want to do that with the best regulatory agencies in the world, not comparing ourselves with ourselves but with the best.
“They told us that we would need to meet 868 reccomendations before we can get to maturity level 3”, she said.
She further disclosed that, WHO came to NAFDAC physically in June 2019 to start the bench marking process and out of the 868 reccomendations, the Agency was able to make over 600 and had 147 left, but according to Adeyeye, those 147 left, were the most difficult.
Highlighting steps taken by the Agency to earn the recognition, the NAFDAC Boss explained:
“We started working at it with retreats, town hall meetings and making sure that NAFDAC is built on quality systems.
“Around that same January of 2018, we started the quality management system. It was the quality management system that got us to 147.
“With the advent of Covid-19, we did what we have never done before, we had to train ourselves on how to monitor vaccines and how to write guidance and we wrote the first preparedness for Covid-19 in Africa”, she said.
Adeyeye further explained that, WHO met the Agency virtually in July of 2021 and reduced the 147 reccomendations to 33, she continued:
“The 33 were the most difficult. Our staff worked endless hours and I would like to cease this moment to thank the Council. The Council are in charge of approving regulations, they had to work tirelessly before those regulations were sent to the Ministry of Health, from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Justice and at each junction, they were corrections that needed to be made.
“With the 33 left, they came back october 2021 and by that time, we had cleared all the recomendations. In February 21-25 of 2022, they came physically to check if what they saw virtually was real.
“And they told us that we have achieved maturity level 3 regulatory agency, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and NAFDAC crossed many hurdles, making sure that the medicines our people take are of quality”, Adeyeye said.
According to the NAFDAC Helsman, some of the benefits the country will enjoy includes:
Drugs of better quality, better clinical trials, guidances and guidelines, better regulatory inspection, and also laboratory testing.
In continuation, she added: “Our drugs are better, market control is better, market authorisation, registration of our products are also better.
“It will bring greater news to the pharmaceutical industry, meaning that any product that NAFDAC approves in Nigeria can be traded globally”, Adeyeye explained.
She further disclosed that NAFDAC was building the vaccine laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos State and that it would be ready by the middle of the year.