Public Relations Officer of NAFDAC in the South East Zone, Mr. Celestine Nwuruku, said this at the inauguration of a task force to fight fake and adultrated drugs in Awka on Tuesday.
According to him, the drugs were confiscated from the markets, supermarkets and patent medicine dealers.
He said the items were seized when the agency raided shops in Anambra, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu states.
Nwuruku promised that NAFDAC would rid rural areas of fake and adulterated drugs.
Head of the agency in the zone, Mr. Udoekpo Ekpo, said the agency had banned the hawking of drugs in streets, buses and public places and would not only confiscate drugs hawked in such places but would also prosecute the offenders.
Ekpo advised water producers to stop producing water in unhygienic environment and abusing the use of chlorine in treating water, warning that the agency would confiscate, seize or seal any factory that refused to follow laid down rules and regulations.
The seven-man task force is headed by Mr. Alphonsus Muogboh and NAFDAC Director of Narcotic and Substance Control, Alhaji Hashim Yusufu.
Ekpo urged the task force to rid Head Bridge Drug Market in Onitsha, which has posed great challenges to NAFDAC, of fake and counterfeit products. He said the market has denied Nigerians genuine medicines and processed foods and has also caused many avoidable deaths and permanent injuries.
Yusufu said efforts were being made to establish desk officers in the local government areas in the country to fast-track the eradication of fake and other unwholesome products in line with NAFDAC’s focus to eliminate fake and adulterated products in the rural areas.
He said the challenges confronting the agency was how to ensure that all local, national and international manufacturers of regulated products operate in accordance with the requirement of the World Health Organisation guidelines.