By Kemi Olatunde
The Task Force against fake and counterfeit drugs has apprehended a fake and counterfeit drug organisation; Brother Paul Legacy Foundation at the Cultural Area of Ondo road, Akure, the capital of Ondo state on Tuesday.
It was caught with concoctions that are injurious to people’s health and alleged that the drugs could cure all kinds of ailments.
As gathered, it operates in 13 other states across the country.
The all-inclusive Task Force which comprises the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control ( NAFDAC), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria ( PSN) and staff of the Department of the Pharmaceutical Services of the Ministry of Health were at the premises of the organization in Akure.
Speaking during the exercise, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharm (Mrs) Folukemi Aladenola explained that the team got information that the organisation has been in operation in Akure since June allegedly treating all kinds of ailments such as cancer, low sperm count, diabetes, hypertension, hepatitis and barrenness and claimed to be registered with NAFDAC.
While noting that the concoctions were detrimental to the health of residents of the state, she maintained that government would always protect the health interest of residents stressing that the state government has ensured that its people have unfettered access to healthcare delivery by increasing access to health facilities through the suspension of registration fees in all government facilities to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
According to her; “The gesture of the government should prompt our people to access care but to our surprise, people still patronise these quacks and their prices range from 5000 to 10,000”.
“Instead of using this money to patronise quacks, you can get quality drugs at the government facilities in the state”
Speaking further, the permanent Secretary reiterated that the Government of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu established the Ondo state Drug and Health Commodities management Agency (ODHCMA) for effective healthcare delivery and to improve access to high quality and affordable drug and health commodities.
In her words, ” the era of out of stock syndrome is over, now our facilities would now have enough drugs to cater for the health of the people at an affordable price. Now our facilities have been directed to get their drugs from this agency. If you don’t get drugs in these facilities, you can question this gap”
Aladenola advised the people of the state to always access healthcare from qualified personnels and accredited government and private facilities while also emphasizing that the organization would be handed over to the appropriate authority to be sanctioned.
While appreciating government for providing conducive and enabling environment for the team to work, the accounting officer sounded a note of warning to all fake drug dealers in the state that the team would not relent its efforts in bringing them to book.
The representative of the National Agency for Food Drug, Administration and Control ( NAFDAC), Mr Ogidi Samuel Olatunji explained that the apprehended representatives of the Brother Paul Legacy Foundation were parading themselves to have NAFDAC registration on their product adding that it was discovered that the registration number was fake.
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) representative, Mr Bankole Adetayo stressed that the agency would always collaborate with the taskforce to wage war against fake and counterfeit drugs in the state.
The Chairman of the Taskforce in Ondo State, Pharm Olugbenga Lasekan appreciated the support of the government for the taskforce team to be able to cater for the health of the people of the state. He warned those involved in the selling of fake drugs and adulterated consumables to desist, saying that anyone caught would face the law.