An Analysis of Loopholes in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain, and Methods for Improving Control of Counterfeit Drugs in Nigeria

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Yakubu, Ojima Precious
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In Nigeria, the term counterfeit drug refers to drugs that have outlived their shelf life, mislabeled drugs, drugs kept under inappropriate temperatures, and drugs produced under unfavorable conditions. The supply of counterfeit drugs is an issue of great concern for the government, regulatory bodies, and industry professionals in Nigeria. Though policies and guidelines exist to control the supply, a significant amount of operating results have not been achieved yet. In Nigeria, the drug supply system needs to be carefully managed to safeguard the flow of genuine drugs throughout the supply chain. A high level of monitoring and evaluation must be enforced at all levels of the supply chain to ensure the activities of counterfeit drug peddlers are reduced as much as possible. The purpose of this research is to identify and analyze the current challenges which facilitate the loopholes in the pharmaceutical supply chain in Nigeria and propose methods that can reduce how counterfeit drugs enter the supply chain. This research aims to interact with distributors and pharmacists because they are directly involved in the supply chain and are important contact points before a drug reaches consumers. Response Rate: A total of 20 people were scheduled to be interviewed, 10 distributors, and 10 pharmacists. A total of 13 participants responded to the interview, 7 pharmacists and 6 distributors with two responding via text, recording a response rate of 65% The survey was distributed to a total of 370 participants. 70 pharmacists and 300 consumers. A total of 55 pharmacists responded to the survey and a total of 202 consumers responded to the survey giving a total of 257 responses. Hence, recording a response rate of 69.45%. The loopholes facilitating the infiltration of counterfeit drugs are that the number of unqualified workers in the supply chain is greater than the number of qualified workers, the presence of open markets, and poor implementation of laws. To control the supply of counterfeit drugs more consumer awareness needs to be done and industry experts need to familiarize themselves with more anti-counterfeit technologies and to exercise greater care in sourcing drugs.

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