The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised the alarm over the distribution of fake Coartem tablets.
A Nigerian Pharmacist, Ahmed Yakasai, tweeted “The manufacturers of the anti-malaria drugs is spelt wrongly on the fake drug sachet.” The manufacturer of the fake Coartem tablet is written as NOVRTS instead of Novartis.
NAFDAC’s Director of Special Duties, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh spoke on the dangers of the fake Coartem tablets in circulation saying, “Coartem is a prescription medication used to treat acute uncomplicated malaria infections due to Plasmodium falciparum in adults and children who weigh at least 11 pounds (5 kg). Coartem contains two active substances, artemether and lumefantrine, which work together to kill the parasites that cause malaria.”
Jimoh urged healthcare providers and members of the public to be vigilant and report circulation or sale of the fake Coartem tablets to the nearest NAFDAC office.
“It will be recalled that many drug counterfeiters target fast moving medications including antimalarial, ante-hypertensive and antibiotics drugs. The scarcity of any of these medicines in the normal supply chain, therefore, creates an opportunity whereby unscrupulous persons fill the gap by making the substandard or fake drugs available in the supply chain.” he added.