The President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Prof Ahmed Yakasai has picked holes in the claim by the Senate that about 42 antimalarial drugs banned by the European Union (EU) were still in circulation at the Nigerian market.
Speaking with our reporter in an interview, the PSN President said, the drugs being listed as banned were mono therapy drugs, which Nigeria no more uses.
Yakasai who was disappointed said the alarm raised was uncalled for as the issue is stale and has been addressed in the past.
The Nigerian Senate had on 20th of July 2017 deliberated and raised alarm over antimalarial drugs that have been banned in Europe but are still sold in hospitals and pharmacies in Nigeria.
The Senate also mandated its Committee on Health both Secondary and Tertiary being led by Senator Olarewaju Tejuoso, to urgently carry out an investigation into the matter and report back.
However, the PSN President, responding to the claim said the World Health Organization guideline had Okayed a combination therapy for treatment of malarial, which Nigeria had already adopted.
“The list of antimalarial medicines circulated on social media by Itodje Okiemute Godstime on March 21, 2017 at www.gt9ja.com are ORAL MONOTHERAPIES which ARE NOT the recommended medicines for treatment of UNCOMPLICATED MALARIA in Nigeria”
Yakasai further that the claims that the drugs will lead to liver or Kidney Failure does not hold water, as it has no scientific backing.
The recommended combination medicines for malaria in Nigeria are Artesunate+Amodiaquine (AA), Artemether+Lumefantrinr (AL) and Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP), which are also the WHO recommended combinations.
The European Medicines Agency’s website was searched and it was established that: Artesunate is used in combination with Amodiaquine, Artemether is used in combination with Lumefantrine, Pyrimethamine is used in combination with Sulphadoxine, Proguanil is used in combination with other active pharmaceutical ingredient in Atovaquone, Halofantrine is recommended by WHO for use in area where multiple drug resistance Plasmodium falciparum malaria is prevalent.
“The claim of Itodje Okiemute Godstime in respect of poisoning and kidney failure have no clinical or scientific backing.
The PSN President has further directed the Senate to the WHO guidelines for treating both complicated and uncomplicated Malaria, which is already operational in Nigeria
Meanwhile the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Friday said it will reflect and respond appropriately to the claims as at when due.