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Four ways NAFDAC wants you to verify authenticity of medicine before purchase

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The existence of fake and unregistered medicine, despite efforts by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other regulatory agencies, is a cause for concern. 

The recent investigation by DUBAWA and Premium Times has brought this issue to the front burner again, prompting the need for more actions and follow-up. 

So, before purchasing a medicine, here are some ways to check if it is genuine or fake. These few steps can save you or your loved one from harm.   

1. NAFDAC Green Book

NAFDAC has a Green Book containing a list of approved medicine in Nigeria. 

You can start by typing the product name on the search bar or reviewing the listed product names. 

Four ways NAFDAC wants you to verify authenticity of medicine before purchase
Screenshot of NAFDAC’s Greenbook website. 

2. NAFDAC Verify website 

This is the registered medicine database of NAFDAC, where you can check for a medicine product type, product name, active ingredient and expiry date. 

You can also type keywords in the search bar to filter through the database. 

Four ways NAFDAC wants you to verify authenticity of medicine before purchase
Screenshot of NAFDAC’s registered product database. 

4. The Scratch Code 

NAFDAC 2011 deployed the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) scheme to detect substandard and falsified (SF) anti-malaria and antibiotic medicines imported or manufactured in Nigeria following the success of its pilot study.

The scheme uses scratch codes and Short Messaging Service (SMS) to empower consumers to verify the authenticity of medicines at the point of purchase.

Four ways NAFDAC wants you to verify authenticity of medicine before purchase
Screenshot of a malaria medicine with the scratch code and the result of dialling the code.  

3. The Barcode

The Barcode also plays the same role as the scratch card, but in this case, you only have to scan the barcode to get relevant information about the medicine. 

Four ways NAFDAC wants you to verify authenticity of medicine before purchase
Screenshot of medicine with a barcode. 

When and how to report

When you discover or suspect a medicine is not genuine either by scaling, sailing the scratch code or going through the agency’s Greenbook, you can visit NAFDAC’s website and go to its complaints and enquiries section, where you will find phone numbers and email addresses to report the drug. 

For complaints, the phone numbers to call are 0909 763 0506 or 0909 763 0507. You can also email reform@nafdac.gov.ng or visit NAFDAC’s office to report suspicions of any medicine. 

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