BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA—The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii, yesterday lamented under-reporting of adverse drug reactions in the country.
Speaking during the Pharmaco-vigilance Stakeholder’s Forum in Abuja, Dr Orhii disclosed that only 10,000 Adverse Drug Reaction, ADR, reports had been received by the Pharmaco-vigilance Centre since inception, translating into about eight reports per million population per year.
He stated further that the current situation pointed to under -etection and under-reporting of adverse drug reactions in Nigeria, adding that the result of the pharmaco-vigilance assessment showed that the system in place in most of the sub-Saharan countries, including Nigeria, did not meet systems capacity and performance indicators.
“It is common knowledge that most of these countries surveyed are developing and depend on huge quantities of donated medicines to combat some diseases of public health importance.
“These public health programmes are usually adequately funded and focus on mass distribution of medicines with inadequate systems in place to monitor the safety of the medicines they distribute,” he said
Orhii noted that strong pharmaco-vigilance systems could help monitor and ensure the safe use of medicines critical to the success of global health programmes.
He called on global partners to ,as a matter of urgency, integrate in their planning phase, functional medicine safety systems to monitor effects of donated products.
In his remarks, chairman of the occasion and Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Group of Nigeria, Mr Bunmi Olaopa, said essential medicines were critical to healthcare delivery, but lamented that there had been adverse outcomes from medicines which underscored the importance of pharmaco-vigilance.
He said the major setback in Nigeria was the disconnect between pharmaco-vigilance and healthcare policy where stakeholders were not fully persuaded of the practical benefits as well as impact in health promotion and health policy implementation.
Olaopa recommended a feedback mechanism from the stakeholders at the end of the deliberations emphasizing the impact of pharma-covigilance on health care policy.Vanguard Nigeria