Fake drugs, food: Ekiti raises 10-Man Task Force

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By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
A 10-Man Task Force has been put in place by the Ekiti State Government to get distribution of fake and expired drugs and foods eradicated.
The Task Force, headed by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olurotimi Ojo, comprises of representatives of health related government MDAs and security agencies.
Inaugurating the committee in Ado-Ekiti, Dr. Ojo explained that it became imperative to set up the Task Force in order to effectively curb the spread of counterfeit drugs and food which are responsible for most premature and avoidable deaths in the State.
The Commissioner highlighted the functions of the task-force to include confiscating any drug displayed for sale in premises not duly licensed or registered to handle such medicine, ensuring that processed food displayed for sale are not only certified by appropriate authorities but also fit for human consumption as well as ensuring that expired items are not displayed for sale.
Dr. Ojo illustrated counterfeit drugs to include any medicine that has been deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled in respect of identity and source adding that it could apply to both branded and generic products.
According to him, wrong labeling of incorrect ingredient and fake packaging also amount to counterfeiting.
He listed the effects of injecting fake drugs and food to comprise antibiotic resistance, therapeutic failure as well as toxic effects which often lead to death.
Ojo advised all law-abiding stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector and those who trade in food, beverages and related matters to go about their lawful business without fear of molestation stressing that the move was not to witch-hunt or pester law-abiding people in the State but to put an end to unlawful and criminal distribution of fake drugs and food that may cause avoidable deaths.
Other members of the task-force are Barrister Eniola Arogundade of the State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Ebo Frank representing the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Durojaye Bisi from the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) as well as Mr. Aimola Kehinde from the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) and the Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the State Ministry of Health, Mr. Shola Shittu while CSP Obiefe Okpaleye would represent the Nigeria Police.

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