FRANCE TO EXPAND DRUG PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA AS COUNTRY CRACKS DOWN ON COUNTERFEITS

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The French government has pledged to set up more drug production facilities in Nigeria, on the heels of the country's commitment to fighting the trade in counterfeit medicines. French Foreign Trade Minister Christine Lagare has stated that the planned outlets will act as a catalyst for growth in Nigeria's drug industry.

Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was praised for stemming the flow of counterfeit drugs arriving in the country. In April 2005, NAFDAC blacklisted 50 pharmaceutical importers for supplying "substandard" fake drugs. Critics say that Nigeria has yet to formulate a coherent plan to combat imported counterfeits. However, NAFDAC claims that its approach has been successful, reducing imports of these illicit products by 80%.

The French government is now planning to form a partnership with the agency to ensure the continual flow of genuine pharmaceuticals into both Nigeria and the surrounding countries. The government has also announced that it will acquiesce with all international standards stipulated by NAFDAC concerning the importation of 88 French pharmaceutical brands.