Counterfeit & Substandard Drugs in Nigeria

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NLIPW Patents Law Volume 1 Number 8

(Counterfeit & Substandard Drugs in Nigeria)


July 27, 2013

Content Sources

  1. World Bank
  2. PLOS Medicine
  3. World Health Organization
  4. Journal of Health & Population in Developing Countries

Counterfeit and Substandard Drugs, Nigeria’s Experience: Implications, Challenges, Actions and  Recommendation. Presented at a meeting for key interest groups on health, organized by the World Bank in Washington D.C. on March 10-11, 2005

This paper examines specific incidences and reported cases of counterfeit drugs in Nigeria and looks at some of the challenges (at the time of publication in 2005) to drug regulation including false declaration by importers, corruption and conflict of interests, sophistication in clandestine drug manufacture, the chaotic drug distribution system and the lack of adequate legislation. The paper also highlights efforts by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to combat counterfeiting of medicines in Nigeria and some of NAFDAC’s achievements. The paper calls for international support from the international community including the World Health Organization and advocates for more severe laws and punishment for drug counterfeiting. Read more

The Global Threat of Counterfeit Drugs: Why Industry and Governments Must Communicate the Dangers by Cockburn R, Newton PN, Agyarko EK, Akunyili D, White NJ (2005) PLoS Med 2(4): e100. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020100

This article discusses the reluctance of many governments worldwide and pharmaceutical companies to publicize problems relating to the quality of drugs in their various countries. The article suggest that a major reason for this reluctance is the belief that by publicizing problems relating to their drugs, they harm sales of brand-name products. Specifically, the article highlights results from a pharmaceutical industry survey that was aimed at evaluating the practice of reporting of counterfeit drugs to relevant governments and the World Health Organization (WHO). The authors suggest that when pharmaceuticals keep information regarding fake drugs confidential for commercial reasons, such secrecy is not only harmful to patients but is not in the interest of the legitimate pharmaceutical industry. The authors recommend mandatory reporting to governmental authorities who in turn should have a legal duty to investigate and issue warnings and alerts to the public. Read more

Counterfeit Drugs in Nigeria and Current Interventions by Ekindese E. Aburime, WHO, April 27, 2003

This paper looks at the problem of counterfeit drugs and examines why counterfeit/substandard drugs exist and prosper. The paper further examines how Nigeria is addressing the problem of counterfeit drugs and concludes that while NAFDAC has been working to ensure that counterfeit drugs do not get imported and remain in circulation in Nigeria, ensuring drug quality is the responsibility of all those involved from manufacturers to pharmaceuticals and other drug regulatory authorities.

Drug Regulation and Control in Nigeria: The Challenge of Counterfeit Drugs by W.O. Erhun, O.O. Babalola and M.O. Erhun, Journal of Health & Population in Developing Countries, 2001

This study examines some of the factors that have contributed to the growth of counterfeit drugs and the laws that address counterfeiting in Nigeria. In conducting this study, the authors made use of questionnaires and oral interviews. The study concludes that while the laws are adequate, falling short only in the implementation, the task forces (at the time of publication in 2001) were rated ineffective arising from corruption, gaps in communication and lack of vehicles and adequate funds. Read more

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About Bob Aroture 564 Articles
Bob is a Senior Editor and Content Development Manager at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch. He holds a BS degree, with a major in biochemistry. He works directly with the Newsroom Team. His focus areas are technology and innovation, and pharmaceutical technology. Email: