The National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Wednesday, confiscated 152 cartons of unregistered Dizapam tablets B.P. worth over N25 million.
The drugs which were manufactured at Mumbai, India by Shalina Laboratories PVT. Ltd were released to NAFDAC by Customs Service officials who confiscated them at the Nigerian -Cameroon border in Cross River State.
Enugu State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Ikechuku Okoye, told newsmen while displaying the unregistered drugs in his office at the Enugu Federal Secretariat, that the Dizapam tablets B.P. 10mg were smuggled into the country through Calabar axis adding that Customs Service officials alerted his agency over the matter.
“What happened was an inter-departmental achievement. The customs in Enugu called us that they intercepted drug products at the Nigeria- Cameroon border and that we should come and check if they were within our jurisdiction.
“When we got there, we saw Dizapam, a controlled drug and we checked and found out that the product was not registered by NAFDAC; and the person was bringing it illegally. The customs now handed them over to us for further investigation,” Okoye said.
He, however, said that even if the drugs were genuine, they were controlled, meaning that they are sold by prescription only from qualified physicians and cannot be sold behind the counter.
“It is sedative, so I wonder people who brought them in but we are still trying to get more information from the customs so that we will go for the person that brought them into the country because they are controlled and thus have to be registered by NAFDAC to monitor how they are being used.
“The drugs are worth over N25 million and I wonder why somebody will engage in a business worth such amount and preferred not to register it with NAFDAC but bring such illegally. It is unfortunate but NAFDAC is equal to the task”, the NAFDAC coordinator added.
Okoye then advised members of the public to always insist on buying drugs or products regulated by NAFDAC, saying that any product without NAFDAC registration number was fake.