National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, shut down 16 herbal medicine facilities and seized products in Onitsha, the Anambra State commercial hub.
The seizure followed a monitoring and raid exercise of illegal products and facilities mostly in Onitsha and other neighbouring communities of Nkpor and Ogidi by officials of the agency, yesterday.
A Deputy Director and Coordinator of the agency in Anambra State, Dr. Christiana Esenwa, told journalists that the agency had so far sanctioned no fewer than 100 practitioners from January 2015 till date.
Esenwa explained that the affected companies were sanctioned for Illegal manufacturing, sales, hawking and unapproved advertisements.
According to her, at a particular manufacturing facility (name withheld), a lot of unregistered products with none issued with marketing authorisation were discovered.
“We had earlier sensitised herbal medicine practitioners on the need to have their companies and products registered, as well as avoid illegal advertisements of their products without approval of the agency. Rather, they chose to ignore the warnings of the agency and developed a habit of going back to business even after sanctioning them,” Esenwa noted.
She said the agency was planning stiffer penalties for defaulters with an upward review from the N20,000 administrative charge to deter illegal practitioners from operating without NAFDAC’s approval.
“Before any company goes on air, it must register their products, get certificate and advertisement permit. From what we saw during the raid, most of the products are unsafe for consumption and may therefore pose numerous health hazards to consumers since they have not been tested for purity and toxicity.
“We discovered at another facility that the manufacturing environment was not conducive and lacked minimum good manufacturing practices,” the deputy director said.
According to her, defaulters with manufacturing outfits will be taught how to make products that are safe for consumption.
Esenwa, however, explained that the raid and seizures were not a punitive measure or means to chase practitioners out of business, but a way to make them appreciate the essence of due process in their respective businesses.

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