The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has said that the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy would ensure improved efficiency in the pharmaceutical supply chain and therefore improving patient safety while safeguarding the health of the nation.
Speaking on Tuesday at the inaugural meeting of the Traceability Steering Committee, (a committee that was recently inaugurated earlier by the Honorable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, for the governance and implementation of the traceability strategy), Prof Adeyeye remarked that the traceability strategy document is the outcome of two years’ work by NAFDAC in collaboration with Ministry of Health, international partners such as World Bank, USAID, Global Fund, GS1 Technologies to develop Traceability Desk in NAFDAC, i.e., an enabling environment for the implementation of the track and trace of medical commodities by using global standards.
She noted that the challenge of chaotic pharmaceutical supply chain in our nation necessitated the adoption of innovative approaches such as the traceability strategies, and complementary partnership to disrupt the cycle of wastages from expired commodities, shortages, infiltration of substandard and falsified products, diversion and pilferage of products in the health sector.
‘’This is the first meeting of the committee following the successful launching of the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy by the Minister of Health on October 8’’, she recalled.
According to her, the falsification and diversion of health commodities often leads to serious health and economic consequences. She added that the consideration of these consequences vis-à-vis the mandate of NAFDAC to regulate and control, amongst other things, the distribution of drugs and other regulated products is sufficient motivation to adopt and implement strategies that can assist in the fight against the menace of substandard/falsified medicines.
She further pointed out that the outcome would be improvement in the regulatory control of medicines supply chain and the overall security of drug distribution network in the country. The funding partners, she disclosed, included members of the Global Steering Committee, Global Funds, USAID, WHO, World Bank and GS1, ‘’which is the technology we have adopted’’.
Describing the gains of implementing pharmaceutical traceability as enormous, Prof Adeyeye said traceability would provide visibility of medicines from plant to patient to promote trust in the pharmaceutical sector and healthcare system.
She further noted that it would enhance opportunity of trade of domestically manufactured pharmaceutical products and increased data quality to support active pharmacovigilance. `She explained that this would also lead to decreased infiltration of substandard/ falsified medicines and ultimately increase patient safety.
The committee is expected to achieve some deliverables as outlined in the terms of reference amongst them is a successful implementation of track and trace using already built international supply channels such as USAID and Global Fund, as a scalable model.
The Committee that is co-chaired by the NAFDAC’s Director of Drug Registration and Regulatory Affairs, Dr Monica Eimunjeze, and Federal Ministry of Health Director of Food and Drug Services, Mr Moshood Lawal, has a period of five years to take the nation at par with the rest of the world in the area of pharmaceutical track and trace.
In his opening remarks, the Director of Food and Drug Services at the Federal Ministry of Health, Lawal Mashood urged members of the committee to work as a team in the national assignment to ensure that the nation achieves harmonized implementation of global standards.