The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested Alhaji Salisu, manufacturer of ‘Baba Aisha’ herbal medicine, for operating with an expired registration licence and for illegal advertisement and sale of Sacra Herbs oral liquid.
Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this at a press briefing on Monday, June 19, 2023, in Abuja.
Prof. Adeyeye explained: “In 2018, NAFDAC received an application from Sacra Multi-Links Limited, for the registration of its product, Sacra Herbs oral liquid. Following regulatory protocols, the Agency granted listing approval with NAFDAC registration number A7-2590L for Sacra Herbs oral liquid for management of pile and associated pains. The notification of the registration of the product was granted on the 6th of September 2018, valid till the 12th of September 2019.
“The company on the 12th of August 2020 applied for renewal of its licence. Following a regulatory audit of the company’s production facility, compliance directives were issued to them for non-conformers observed in the facility for which the company was expected to correct. The company, however, did not correct the lapses observed, following which the product registration licence was not renewed.
“NAFDAC also did not receive any application for advertisement of the Sacra herb to warrant the illegal advertisement of the herbal preparation. Sacra herb which licence expired in 2019 was approved for the management of piles and associated pains. But the company went beyond bound prescribing the medicines for unfounded indications such as, for the treatment of waist pains, typhoid, ulcer, pile, toilet infection, etc.
“Following media outburst on the nefarious activities of Sacra Multi-Links, NAFDAC officials carried out surveillance that led to the sealing of the factory and the arrest of two staff of the company who were complicit in the criminal act. A day after, the Managing Director of Sacra Multi-Links, Alhaji Salisu Sani, reported to the NAFDAC office in Kaduna, and when his vehicle was searched, several other herbal drugs were evacuated from the vehicle, namely, Sacra Herbs oral liquid and two additional unregistered herbal preparations called Baban Aisha manpower & delay and cure powder kai kadai gayya.
“All the products found with the Managing Director and those found in the company were sent to the NAFDAC laboratory for analysis. The result is being awaited.”
Additionally, the NAFDAC DG confirmed that the Agency has commenced a nationwide mop-up of the Sacra Herbs in circulation, and had also intensified crackdown on all illegal manufacturers and distributors of herbal preparations and other unregistered preparations, to bring perpetrators to book and minimize the usage of the substance.
She further stated that in case of enforcement actions, as it relates to illegal manufacture, importation, advertisement, and sale of unregistered herbal drugs, the Agency officials clamped down on some distributors of some herbal medicines, notably, Hajia Aisha special snuff AK 47.
According to her, findings revealed that the herbal snuff was manufactured in Ghana and was approved for use as an analgesic by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) of Ghana. But was being wrongly packaged and passed off as a snuff for the Nigerian market.
She informed that investigation further revealed an alarming trend in the use of the “poisonous” preparations by a wide section of the populace, cutting across all genders and age groups, including young boys and girls, men and married women, drivers, and artisans.
She also disclosed that the snuff, popularly called “shake” or “Angoro” herbal powder comes under different street names, such as; AK 47, Moringa, Black coffee (Dan Kano), Magic powder, Lufthansa, Desert Warrior, etc.
The NAFDAC Boss assured Nigerians that the Agency was working hard to ensure that only safe medicine and wholesome food of the right quality are sold to Nigerians, thus so soliciting the support of health practitioners, community leaders, religious leaders, the press, and all stakeholders to continue to educate their wards and family members to desist from patronizing quacks and hawkers of medicines on the street.
She therefore, advised consumers of NAFDAC-regulated products to be watchful of drugs, food, and other regulated products they purchase, and should not hesitate to report any suspicious activities within their environment to the nearest NAFDAC office.