Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005
Industry & Economy
Marketing - Piracy
Pharmexcil steps in for trouble-shooting
Hyderabad , April 5
FOLLOWING the decision of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria (Nafdac) to place some Indian pharmaceutical companies on an `alert list of banned suppliers' for supply of counterfeit drugs to Nigeria, the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) has stepped into the field to ascertain the facts from both the parties for the mutual benefits of two countries.
According to the Pharmexcil Chairman, Mr D.B. Mody, the Nafdac has accused the listed companies of "persistently indulging in dumping of fake and counterfeit drugs into the country".
Stating that the Indian pharma companies concerned rejected the allegations outright, Mr Mody said in a bid to protect the interests of Indian pharma exports, the Pharmexcil as a proactive action met the representatives of these companies.
In a press release here on Tuesday, he said all exports to Nigeria were subject to mandatory pre-shipment inspection by an independent inspection agency, which includes physical inspection of the consignment, analysis of samples drawn from ready consignments, and reports, thereof, by independent authorised laboratories.
Pharmexcil has noted that the imported medicines were cleared by the Nigerian customs only after receipt of `Clean findings report of inspection and analysis' by the independent inspection agency.
"Given the strict monitoring of quality of drugs imported into Nigeria by the independent inspection agency nominated by the Nigerian authorities, it is surprising as to how Nigerian importers have managed to customs-clear such alleged fake and counterfeit drugs," the Pharmexcil Chairman said.
According to him, since the exporters in question were not given an opportunity to explain their case and clear their name, Pharmexcil found an urgent need to seek a personal hearing for affected exporters to put forth their case before the Nafdac and establish their bona fides.
Accordingly, in a meeting held last Friday under the Chairmanship of Mr Mody, where all the affected exporters participated, it was unanimously decided to give a full factual report to Pharmexcil so that in the interest of exports, the matter could be referred to the Ministry of Commerce as well as the Indian Embassy in Nigeria.
"As a matter of service to importers in Nigeria and exporters from India, if required, a delegation of representatives of exporters concerned would be deputed to Nigeria to conduct tests, following the prescribed test protocols in the presence of buyers with a view to satisfactorily sorting out the issue for mutual benefit of the two countries," Mr Mody said.
Pharmexcil has written to the Nafdac to give all the parties concerned an opportunity to prove their bonafides and that they were not involved in any way with the supply of fake and counterfeit drugs to Nigeria.
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