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NAFDAC covers 30 states in fake drugs test

Published by Guardian on Mon, 20 Aug 2012

THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it has so far deployed its drug detection technology, Truscan, to about 30 states in the country.TRUSCAN, a hand-held device used to detect counterfeit medicines, was deployed nationally in January 2010. It has the capability of detecting fake products within a couple of minutes.The agency said in a statement: 'NAFDAC has also been able to identify that anti-malaria and anti- biotic drugs are some of the highly counterfeited products. The TRUSCAN has been fed with about 150 signatures of different kinds of products. Anything outside the signatures of these products will be detected by the machine and the product will not be able to pass as genuine. It has been effective most of the time.'In Gusau, Zamfara State for instance, a community has been sourcing its drugs from a supplier who was bringing the fake rather than the original products they needed. The supplier comes with a van full of drugs like anti-malaria and anti-biotic and sells to unsuspecting drug outlets. The game became up for the supplier when NAFDAC visited the community with its TRUSCAN and alerted them on the counterfeit supplier.'Meanwhile, the days of fake drug producers across the world are numbered, going by latest developments in the science community. Scientists are advancing in a new technology that would make the detection of substandard drugs easier and cheaper.Medical researchers at Boston University, United States (U.S.) are working on the new product in collaboration with the U.S. government-funded 'Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM)' programme.The device is a replaceable microchip that comes in a portable, shoebox-sized device, known as 'PharmaCheck'.
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