Understanding what NAFDAC does
The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was set up in 1993 to regulate and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals in Nigeria.
A lot of people think that NAFDAC only deals with fake drugs, and while it is true that a lot of the efforts of NAFDAC is spent on combating counterfeit drugs, that is not all they do. In this article, we will discuss the powers and functions of NAFDAC.
Functions and Powers of NAFDAC
1. Regulation and Control –
NAFDAC is responsible for regulating and control of the import, export, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals.
2. Specifications, Testing, and Compliance –
It is also the function of NAFDAC to designate specifications for maintaining the quality of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals and their raw material, as well as to set these standards for the production processes in the factories and other establishments.
3. Investigations and Inspections –
It is NAFDAC’s job to ensure that the set standards are being adhered to, and they do this by inspections and conducting investigations into the activities of relevant individuals, companies, and premises. Therefore, in exercising this function, any NAFDAC officer may, in the course of his duty, at any reasonable time and on production of his certificate of designation, enter any (in some cases forcefully) any premises in which he/she reasonably believes that manufacturing, preparation, preservation, packaging, storage or selling of an applicable product is occurring, and upon entering may examine and take samples of the product, or examine and seize/detain any records with respect to the carrying out of the lawful investigation
4. Guidelines and Registration –
NAFDAC is the only organisation with the power and mandate to issue guidelines on the process for registration of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, and chemicals in Nigeria. Once an applicant achieves the standards that have been set, then NAFDAC has the power to issue a Certificate of Registration. The Certificate of Registration is normally valid for a period of 5 years which is renewable.
5. Research and Development –
Apart from being a Regulatory agency, NAFDAC also has some research functions. It is tasked with undertaking and co-ordinating research programmes on the storage, adulteration, distribution and rational use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals in Nigeria. It is also to compile and publish the relevant data.
6. Litigation –
Any officer of the Agency may conduct criminal proceedings with respect to any offences under the NAFDAC Act, however the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation must first be obtained.
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