Policemen and officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control were pelted with stones and bottled at Onitsha market in Anambra by traders to prevent the security operatives from seizing their counterfeit drugs.
This was disclosed by Moji Adeyeye, the Director-General of the food and drug agency.
The agency also accused the executive members of the Plumbing Material Market Association in Onitsha of watching on while the government officials were stoned.
She added that the counterfeit drugs were kept at the plumbing material market.
The statement said: “The contingent of NAFDAC officials and police officers were attacked and pelted with stones, bottles, packaged water, and plumbing items by a mob under the watch of the executive members of the Plumbing Material Market Association, Head Bridge, Onitsha.
“However, the NAFDAC team were able to evacuate a limited quantity of the counterfeit anti-malarial, antibiotics, sildenafil citrate, including tetanus toxoid stored in a warehouse with a temperature of over 40 degrees.”
The agency, charged with the mandate of safeguarding the health of Nigerians, noted that storing cold-chain drugs such as vaccines or injections that are supposed to be stored at below 4 degrees at a temperature as high as 40 degrees would have damaged the drug and subjected the person that would take it to danger that could result in death.
It said similarly, other drugs stored at such high temperatures would compromise the health of the population and result in fatalities.
The statement said further, “Counterfeiting of drugs subjects the population to treatment failure and early death. Members of the families of the counterfeiters are included in the population, that is, no one is exempted from the consequences of substandard, falsified and counterfeited medicines.
“Therefore, protect your family from the dangers of falsified medicines by reporting any suspicion of fake medicines to 08001NAFDAC or to the nearest NAFDAC office to you.”