Stakeholders in the nation’s health sector determined to stop the faking of emergency contraceptives have reiterated their commitment to rid the country of counterfeit medicine.
At a joint meeting of officials of the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), and Society for Family Health (SFH) which held in Abuja, it was highlighted that the emergency contraceptive market represents one of the segments of the Nigeria medicines and consumables market that continues to suffer from significant faking.
It was against this background that FMOH, NAFDAC, PCN, SFH and other stakeholders determined to meet and rub minds on how to stop the faking of emergency contraceptives particularly with the introduction of the repackaged Postinor2 brand of EC which is currently approximately 70% of the EC market in Nigeria.
According to Head of RH Division in the FMOH, Dr. Kayode Afolabi, there is no dedicated national policy or guideline to facilitate provision and uptake of emergency contraceptives in all health sector outlets in Nigeria.
He said apart from the poor knowledge about emergency contraceptives, they are also obtainable over the counter mostly without any counseling and education on proper use and uptake.
Acting Director-General of NAFDAC Mrs. Yetunde Oni said the agency on its part is ready to ensure adequate surveillance but limited by funds.
“We need our staff to be trained and empowered so that they can effectively play their role as surveillance officers. NAFDAC is committed to doing more to safe guard the health of Nigerians,” she said.
The Managing Director of SFH, Mr. Bright Ekweremadu, gave assurances at the meeting that exercises to rid the country of fake contraceptives would be conducted in collaboration with NAFDAC.
The postinor-2 otherwise called Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) is a safe and effective way of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse or after a contraceptive accident. The newly improved product was launched this year and unveiled at the meeting.