NAFDAC DG and NDLEA CEO to Address Illicit Trade in Pharma Industry at NECCI PR Roundtable
The 23rd edition of the NECCI PR Roundtable, taking place on October 27 and 28, 2023, at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, is set to welcome distinguished figures, including the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, and the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd).
The theme of the event, “Fighting the Scourge of Illicit Trade in the Pharma Industry: The Role of Communication,” will be a focal point of discussion. Founder/Convener of the NECCI PR Roundtable, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, emphasized the critical role of communication in combating the issue of drug counterfeiting within the pharmaceutical industry.
In an increasingly interconnected world, the pharmaceutical industry faces a significant challenge: the rise of illicit trade. Counterfeit drugs, substandard medications, and unauthorized distribution pose serious risks to public health and safety. As stakeholders in this critical sector, we must come together to combat this scourge effectively.
Specifically, she noted that over 70 percent of medicines dispensed in Nigeria were found to be sub-standard, and about 120,000 Africans die annually due to this issue. The consequences of substandard drugs range from loss of sight and hearing defects to kidney and liver problems, resulting in significant loss of life.
The 23rd episode of the NECCI PR Roundtable aims to advocate for radical and lasting interventions through strategic informational communication campaigns that focus on attitude change. These campaigns are essential to curtail the global counterfeit medicines market and ensure public health and safety.
Nkechi stressed that public awareness campaigns could empower consumers to recognize counterfeit drugs and make informed choices. By disseminating information through various channels, such as social media, radio, and community events, awareness about the dangers of illicit pharmaceuticals can be raised, and culprits can be brought to justice.
The fight against illicit trade in the pharmaceutical industry requires a multifaceted approach that combines communication, regulation, technology, and collaboration. Working together, the industry can safeguard public health and ensure that patients receive safe and effective medications.
The event will feature a lineup of esteemed speakers, including acting DCG BA Adeniyi, ACG, Nigeria Customs Service; Dere Awosika, immediate past Chairman of Access Bank; Mbang Femi-Oyewo, Femi Soremekun, Founder/MD Biofem Group, and other intellectuals as panelists.
The NECCI PR Roundtable will continue with a professional PR program on lobbying and advocacy the following day, featuring global thought leaders such as Olufemi Awoyemi, CEO & Founder Proshare Nigeria; Bolarinwa Onaolapo, Consultant and Corporate Advisor, FSA Credential Holder (SASB/IFRS), Lagos State, Nigeria; and Dr. David Mrisho, a lecturer at St. Augustine University, Tanzania.