10 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself from Counterfeit Drugs in Nigeria

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Image Credit: © Daniel Kaesler | Dreamstime

Below are 10 simple ways you can protect yourself from counterfeit drugs in Nigeria.

1. Labels, Serial Numbers and Bar Codes: Scrutinize labels, packaging and contents. Make sure the package or container the medication comes in has not been altered or the label changed and that the serial numbers and bar codes are on the package.

2. Technology: Go a step further from scrutinizing labels especially because many counterfeit drugs are visually indistinguishable from real drugs and take advantage of technology that allows you to identify counterfeit drugs. For example, those offered to the Nigerian public by anti-counterfeiting specialist companies like Sproxil, UBQT and PharmaSecure. Text 38353!

3. Know Your Medication: Anytime you buy a drug, take a few seconds to familiarize yourself with the size, color, taste, texture, shape and even the side effects.

protect yourself4. NAFDAC Registration Number: Locate the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) registration number but remember that it does not guarantee that the product is automatically genuine.

5. Get Educated: Learn more about NAFDAC’s Mobile Authentication Service (MAS). With the scratch of a label and just one text message, you may save your life or the lives of people you love.

6. Don’t Make Risky Assumptions: Do not assume that a fake or counterfeit drug will not pose a serious health risk or cause serious harm to you. Remember that fake drugs kill!

7. Price: Keep in mind that expensive drugs do not automatically equal genuine drugs.

8. Word of Mouth: Warn friend and family of illegitimate drug sources. By talking to friends and sharing information you have gathered, you may also learn about the sources they have found safe, affordable and reliable.

9. Errors on the Manual or the Instruction pamphlet: Look for the manual or the instruction pamphlet for the medication and check to see if there are obvious spelling mistakes

10. Trust Your Instincts: Good old fashioned intuition is sometimes a good idea especially when you are buying a drug at a price that seems too good to be true.

This article is intended to provide general information about the subject matter. Professional legal advice should be sought about specific circumstances.

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About Ufuoma Akpotaire 198 Articles
Ufuoma is a Senior Editor and Director of Regulatory Policy at NLIPW. She assists clients in the protection of copyrights, trademarks and patents. She counsels clients regarding validity and infringement matters and has experience acting against the infringement of IP and addressing counterfeit issues. She holds a Masters degree (LL.M.) from Columbia Law School, New York and a law degree from the University of Nigeria (LL.B. Honors). She is admitted to practice law in Nigeria and in the State of New York. Ufuoma cut her teeth in the intellectual property practice groups of some of the largest law firms in Nigeria and has years of experience working with major non-profit organizations in New York. Email: uakpotaire@nlipw.com