Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Leading Nigerian Official Fighting Drug Counterfeiters Survives Attack By Gunmen

Dr. Paul Orhii, the Director General of Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), survives an attack on his life.

In a story which appeared in Afrique en Ligne, unknown gunmen attempted to kill Dr. Paul Orhii, the Director General of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

NAFDAC is charged with fighting the problem of counterfeit drugs in Nigeria. Nigeria is a country whose population is at the epicenter of the counterfeit drug trade and its impact as caused significant health care issues and death to consumers of bogus medications.

Dr. Orhii was attacked by unknown gunman in his car as he was returning from his village in northern Benue state to the capital city of Abuja.

According to the Afrique en Ligne story:

• A Mercedes Benz car in which four gunmen were riding pulled up next to the NAFDAC SUV that Orhii was riding in at Akwanga, along the Keff-Abuja road and one of the men in the sedan pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot at the Director General. The police escort behind Orhii's vehicle was able to ram the SUV, distracting the shooter. Policemen quickly jumped out of their vehicle to surround the gunmen’s car, however they were ordered not shoot to avoid killing innocent civilians, and the gunmen escaped.

• Orhii and NAFDAC are determined to put an end to the proliferation of fake drugs in Nigera and have declared war on importers and manufacturers of counterfeits.

• This is not the first attack on the life of a NADSAC representative in Nigeria. In August, a number of NAFDAC officials, in the process of confiscating goods from a fake drug dealer in Onueke, Ezza South Local Government Area, were attacked in the Ebonyi State by a mob of youths who were reportedly bribed by counterfeit drug dealers.

• An attempt on the life of the former NAFDAC boss, Professor Dora Akunyili, who is now the Minister of Information, was made in 2003 while returning from his village in southeastern Nigeria.

• Orhii recently appeared in a HDTV special with Dan Rather regarding his efforts to rid Nigeria of counterfeit drugs.

The huge profits from the criminal activity of counterfeit pharmaceuticals can dwarf the profitability of the trade of illicit drugs and this act has attracted violent organized gangs.

Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime of knock off purses or designer clothing perpetrated by individuals but a serious organized threat to consumers globally.

As violent criminal enterprises that trade in this deadly activity increases so to does the threat to consumers proliferate world wide. Counterfeit drug victims are not people who chose to take drugs from nefarious sources but do so because they have been duped, often with significant ramifications to their health and well being and very often with deadly consequences.

Dr. Orhii is a prominant leader in taking on these violent criminals in Nigeria and it is time that officials and industry leaders around the globe take similar action against these organizations that threaten entire unsuspecting populations with their bogus wares.

To read the entire Afrique en Ligne story, visit: http://www.afriquejet.com/news/africa-news/nigeria:-head-of-nigeria.

To learn about technologies used to fight counterfeit drugs, visit: http://www.xstreamsystems.net/.

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