USAID Accredits NAFDAC Laboratory

The U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID has presented the International Organization for Standardization quality certificate to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Central Drug Control Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos.

The certification was presented by Michael Harvey, USAID’s Director in Nigeria, on Thursday, January 29.

The certification is said to be one of the latest examples of USAID’s ongoing effort to contribute to the quality of medicines in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.

Nigeria is one of over 50 countries receiving technical and financial assistance through USAID’s $110 million promoting the quality of Medicines program, implemented by the U.S. Pharmacopeia, USP, Convention.

The program works with regulatory authorities in developing countries around the world to safeguard the quality of medicines, with a particular focus on priority medicines for treating malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.

“Obtaining this world-class accreditation is a laborious process that demonstrates a strong commitment to excellence at every level of the laboratory,” said Harvey.

“The NAFDAC Central Drug Control Laboratory’s dedication to continuous improvement will put it in a position to contribute to improving access to good quality medicines, especially antimalarials,” Harvey added.

The American National Standards Institute-American Society of Quality National Accreditation Board based in Washington, D.C. awarded the accreditation to the NAFDAC laboratory.

Bill Hirt, Director of Accreditation for the board said, “We found excellent facilities and document systems, and highly proficient and professional staff. It was heartening to see the effective partnership of the US Pharmacopeia program plus the generous financial backing and oversight of the USAID. In the eyes of the global technical community, NAFDAC can rightfully consider themselves world class.”

“Pharmaceutical service is one of the pillars of the health care industry in Nigeria,” noted Paul Orhii, Director General of NAFDAC.

He added that, “The accreditation will support not only Nigeria’s own pharmaceutical industry, 80 percent of which is located in or around the commercial capital Lagos, it will also help monitor the quality of imported products and help ensure that only safe, quality medicines are distributed to its nearly 170 million citizens. Plus, as an internationally accredited quality lab, NAFDAC laboratory can contribute to the quality of medicines in the entire region by serving as a reference for pharmaceutical manufacturers seeking World Health Organization product pre-qualification.

“Much of the laboratory work essential to quality testing medicines entails complex methods and procedures that must be followed meticulously to ensure accurate results.”

The accreditation of the laboratory in Nigeria is particularly important, because Lagos is a primary port of entry for medicines, not just for Nigeria, but also for all of West Africa. Over 60 percent of the medicines in Nigeria are tested at the laboratory.

USAID invests in programs that promote agricultural productivity, combat maternal and child mortality, reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases, foster private sector development and sustainable economic growth, help communities adapt to a changing environment, and elevate the role of women and girls.

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