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Have ever heard of these codes before 38353 and 20453

What is the 38353 short code and what information needs to be in the text?

38353?38353 is the SMS short code issued by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to members of the Nigerian public in order for the public to easily detect fake drugs by texting the PIN obtained from scratch cards attached to drug packages.

In order to verify whether or not a drug is fit for consumption, you will need to text only the 12-digit PIN obtained from the scratch card. No other information is required and it is advisable to do so at the point of sale.

What is the average response time for verification and what should I do if I have bought a fake drug?

38353 QUESTIONThe average time to receive a response is typically under a minute. As soon as the PIN number is sent, you should receive an SMS reply within one minute confirming whether or not the drug is genuine or fake.

You should immediately alert the pharmacist in the pharmacy where the drug was purchased about the verification you received or alternatively you can contact NAFDAC.

What other networks accept the SMS short code and what drugs are covered by this authentication system?

All phone networks in Nigeria accept the 38353 short code. So whether you are on the globacom, MTN, Zain or Etisalat networks, you can verify the authenticity of a drug at the point of sale by sending the PIN obtained from the scratch cards to 38353.

Currently, some of the drugs covered by the sms service include Ampiclox (GlaxoSmithKline), Glucophage (Biofem), Lonart DS (Greenlife Pharmaceutical Limited), Clomid (Euromed) and Artesun (Guilin Pharmaceuticals).

                                                                                            THE SHORT CODE 20543

In its bid to ensure safety of Nigerians as it relates to medicines and to get consumer feedback on adverse drug reactions, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) established a toll free platform for reporting adverse drug reactions in Nigeria. Consumers can simply text a description of the symptoms they have experienced after taking medicines in Nigeria to 20543.

What information should I text if I have suffered an adverse drug reaction?

If you suspect that you have had an adverse drug reaction, you should text a description of your symptoms to 20543. When the information gets to NAFDAC, their Pharmocovigilance Center will give you a call in order to get additional information that will enable the agency determine whether or not an adverse reaction has taken place. It is important to note that NAFDAC does not provide clinical/hospital treatment following such reports but the information is very helpful to the public including the consumer, as NAFDAC uses that information (in addition to other data) to advice the public on who should not take the medication. For example, if it affects the elderly, people who are hypertensive, have asthma or is just not suitable for the entire Nigerian population as a whole.

What phone networks accept the SMS short code 20453?

MTN, Etisalaat and Glo subscribers can all send free text messages to 20543 to report cases of adverse drug reactions. Such reports are very helpful in assisting the agency in its work in safeguarding the health of all Nigerians.

Why is it important for me to send this information to NAFDAC?

Individual adverse drug reaction reports to NAFDAC can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety of a drug after it has been approved for use by NAFDAC and can lead to changes in how a drug is advertised or used in Nigeria including the possible removal from the Nigerian market. This is because consumer reporting is the most expedient method for NAFDAC to identify any new or threatening adverse drug reactions.

source;Nigerian law and intellectual property watch



  1. Why is it that just a few drugs are covered by the service? Are they the drugs of interest? Aint there other drugs being faked?

  2. Pharm. Maduka uchenna prisca

    To chuksy: I guess it’s a matter of interest from the drug companies. It’s a lot of work to print scratch panel on every tablet satchet.

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