By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
NAFDAC has cried out against the proposal to move drug matters from the Exclusive Legislative List to Concurrent Legislative List. Such recommendation portends great danger for Nigeria, it said.
The National Agency for Drug and Food Administration and Control (NADFAC) raised the alarm as a result of the recommendation by Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led reform panel of All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to NAFDAC, the panel “proposes to move drug matters which is presently on the Exclusive List (Item 21) of Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution) to the Concurrent List.’
Describing the development as “emerging concern”, NAFDAC pointed out that the reasons for placing drugs and poisons on the Exclusive Legislative List. “These,” the agency said, “include but not limited to the following: Firm control on drugs and drug-related matters by the federal government.”
Other reasons are to prevent misuse and abuse of drugs by central regulatory control on substances of abuse; protection of patent rights for innovators of medicines to prevent infringement and promote data exclusivity; and the enhancement of compliance with Trade-related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, and so on.
“No nation ever compromises the well-being of its citizens by way of liberalizing and decentralizing medicine legislation,” NAFDAC warned.
It declared that a thorough analysis of global best practices showed that where regulatory controls are placed on the Exclusive Legislative List, the prevalence of counterfeiting and other drug-related vices are at the lowest ebb.
“Removal of drugs and poisons from the Exclusive Legislative List will lead to multiplicity of drug legislations having innumerable dire consequences,” NAFDAC asserted.