Dealers Of Fake Drugs To Be Jailed For Life – Senate
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said on Friday that the upper chamber will soon present a bill that will prescribe life imprisonment for people who engage in production and sale of counterfeit and fake drugs and food.
Saraki who was speaking at the public hearing on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Act said the proposed law would ensure that the convicted individuals risked stiff fines of up to N2m.
He said the bill will also prescribe the confiscation of assets acquired from the proceeds of fake drugs to the Federal Government.
“In 2008, thousands of Nigerian children started taking a teething medicine that contained toxic chemicals. By February 2009, over 90 babies had died from consuming the mixture. This is despicable and to say the least unacceptable,” he said.
Saraki said the amendment of the bill would guarantee food security, disease-free society and required standards for soil sciences.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Olanrewaju Tejuoso, said World Health Organisation disclosed that about $32bn was lost to drug counterfeiting in 2004 and $40bn in 2006.
Tejuoso said, “There is need to enact new legislations or amend the weak or already existing ones to see that the lives of the citizen of this nation are protected,” he said.
Tejuoso said, “There are several fake products like fake cosmetics, fake registered appliances, fake spare parts, fake brushes, fake designer shoes and the list is endless. The effect is far reaching because it is a matter of life and death.
“Some of the major causes of fake drugs and counterfeiting include corruption, inadequate technology for the protection of the identity of genuine drugs as well as lack of vigilance and advocacy by the healthcare providers.”