National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Friday, arrested the manufacturer of an unregistered herbal medicine in Ibadan.
Director, South-West zone of NAFDAC, Mrs Roseline Ajayi, disclosed this while conducting newsmen round the premises of the factory, Oladem Company Limited, in Ibadan.
Ajayi said that the manufacturer could not produce any evidence of registration of the product, christened: At-Taqwah Multipurpose Herbal Medicine, with NAFDAC before embarking on mass production.
She said that following a tip-off, the agency swung into action immediately by sending surveillance officers to the location, which led to the arrest of the suspect.
Ajayi said that the agency had placed the production of the herbal product on hold and sealed the premises due to its unhealthy state.
“We have to follow the due process for registration of any of NAFDAC-regulated product of which herbal products happened to be one.
“We have three stages to get a product registered with NAFDAC, which include documentation with payment, inspection and laboratory analysis.
“Also, a sample of the product will be drawn to a laboratory to ascertain its chemical and microbiology components, if it meets specification before approval,” she said.
Ajayi said that the suspect had yet to apply to NAFDAC for necessary administrative procedures before embarking on mass production of the drug.
“He has not even applied because he knows that no inspection officer will certify a product produced in that kind of a premises.
“The sanitary condition of the premises is poor and the premises is not satisfactory for production of anything for human consumption,” she said.
The NAFDAC director stated that the agency had different penalties for different categories of violators.
According to her, the suspect’s offence is criminal and he will be handed over to the enforcement directorate of the agency.
She advised Nigerians to be careful about the herbal medicine they consumed, especially those with multi-purpose healing claims.
The suspect, while answering questions from newsmen, claimed that the herbal product was multi-purpose and that that worked for fever, malaria, body pain and hypertension.
Ajao said that he had started the production and distribution of the product to different parts of the country since the past five years.
According to him, the product is made from tobacco leaves and other local materials.
The suspect, who said that he had not gone for any training on herbal medicine production, added that he inherited the production process from his parents.