By Asmau Ahmad
A pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation, Pfizer, said industry players need to collaborate in creating awareness around the dangers of counterfeit medicine and pharmaceutical products.
The Cluster Lead for West Africa/Country Manager, Pfizer, Mr. Olayinka Subair, said this during the visit of the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Professor Cyril Usifoh, to Pfizer’s office in Nigeria on Monday.
He noted that the threat of counterfeits was not going away, adding, “Pfizer is seeking collaboration with stakeholders on efforts to educate consumers about counterfeit medicines because patients need the knowledge to protect their health from counterfeiters.”
Subair said counterfeit medicines often miss key ingredients and dosages or contain added harmful ingredients.
He noted that as a result of that, patients who take counterfeits, including life-saving medicines for cancer and heart disease, lose the therapeutic benefits they rely on to treat their conditions.
To tackle the threat of counterfeits on patients’ health, Subair said Pfizer was collaborating with industry stakeholders to ensure patients have the information they need to avoid counterfeit medicines.
He said, “Pfizer is seeking collaboration with government agencies, pharmaceutical organisations, doctors, pharmacists, and industry partners to help raise awareness of the growing problem of counterfeit medicines.
“Together, we seek to tackle this threat to patient health by stopping counterfeits before they reach patients, giving consumers the information, they need to make the right choices, and supporting health care providers in our communities.”
Responding, Usifoh said the PSN as a body which seeks to maintain a high standard of professional ethics and discipline among its members would support and work with Pfizer.
“We would see how we can amplify by reaching out to stakeholders and see how far we can go in driving this campaign successfully;” he added
The data from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control showed that Nigeria has 13 to 15 per cent of fake medicines.