The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) yesterday said that there are no “killer” anti-malarial medicines in Nigeria.
Dr. Yetunde Oni, NAFDAC’S Acting DG spoke at a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday.
The response from NAFDAC followed the release of the list of 42 banned anti-malaria medicines by the Senate, which they claimed have been banned in Europe but said to be in circulation in hospitals and pharmacies and consumed by Nigerians.
According to Oni, “We want to douse the tension and correct the misinformation on the social and mainstream media about the 42 anti-malarial medicines purportedly banned by the European Union but allegedly circulating in the country.
“It is pertinent to mention that the allegedly banned anti-malarial medicines are oral monotherapies containing single Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) such as Artesunate as contained in Arinate tablet.
“Others are Amodiaquine as contained in Camoquine, Dihydroartemisinin contained in Alaxin tablet and Pyrimethamine contained in Daraprim tablet.”
The NAFDAC Acting DG advised Nigerians to use Artemisin Combination Therapies (ACTs) as they were the WHO’s recommended anti-malarial drugs.
“I wish to state categorically that these anti-malarial monotherapies are not recommended for treatment of malaria in Nigeria.
“The recommended anti-malarial medicines for treatment of malaria in Nigeria are Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs).
“The use of ACTs in the treatment of malaria is in line with the guidelines for the treatment of malaria, 3rs Edition, World Health Organisation 2015, Geneva Switzerland.
“The Nigeria National Anti-Malarial Treatment Policy, February 2005 supports the use of ACTs.”
She advised Nigerians to look out for scratch and text techniques on anti-malarial drugs before purchase.