Nigeria: Online Advertising, Selling Drugs – Representatives Ask NAFDAC to Arrest and Prosecute Practitioners

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The House of Representatives yesterday called on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to arrest and prosecute illegal online drug advertisers and educate the public about the dangers of purchase of unregistered and non-prescribed drugs online.

He also called on the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, to liaise with online advertising companies, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., to effectively monitor, control and enforce advertising standards against advertisers and online drug sellers; The Green House of National Assembly has also urged the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria to sanction and prosecute those who engage in the sale and promotion of drugs online without the required license as per the Act. creation of the Council.

Likewise, he asked the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, to take the necessary measures to protect online drug users.

The resolutions followed consideration of a motion, titled “Need to Regulate Online Advertising and Sales of Medicines,” presented by Onofiok Akpan Luke in plenary.

Introducing the motion, Luke expressed concern that online vendors had capitalized on free access to the internet and social media platforms to advertise and sell unregistered and sometimes counterfeit drugs to members. from the unsuspecting public, thereby endangering their health and well-being.

He said: “Given the false and exaggerated media and online advertising of drugs, members of the public are pressured to buy drugs ranging from dietary supplements, cholesterol-lowering drugs, painkillers including tramadol and aspirin to Viagra and other sex-enhancing drugs, some of which are unregistered and purchased without a doctor’s prescription or the advice of a pharmacist.

“The law prohibits the advertising of drugs or related products without registration and without the prior authorization and approval of a competent government agency.

“The law requires that advertising of any drug or related product be accurate, complete, clear and designed to promote the credibility and confidence of the general public and health care practitioners and that pharmaceutical products, especially drugs that may cause death or serious injury, must have a special safety warning displayed in a box in the advertisement.

“Some of the drugs are sold without any indication or warning of side effects, and members of the public who have purchased them have complained of developing symptoms of vomiting, stools, body weakness, severe body pain, swelling, shortness of breath, fainting, erectile dysfunction among others, forcing them to consult a doctor in hospitals.

“Most of the drugs and related products advertised online do not meet the requirements and standards set by law and their non-compliance exposes the public to serious health risks and dangers.

“Drug products should not state or imply in absolute terms or by quotation taken out of context that a drug product is safe or has guaranteed efficacy or special status, and that any advertisement that portrays a drug product as fast , immediate, instantaneous, or rapid-acting on the description should be supported by studies based on the absorption rate of the drug product.”

By passing the motion, the House has mandated its health services and information technology committees to ensure compliance with the resolutions.

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