…encourages users to endeavour to verify drugs’ authenticity before use

Following reports that some counterfeit versions of its products, particularly anti malaria drug, Lonart is in circulation, Greelife Pharmaceuticals Limited has assured the Nigerian public that it is taking all necessary measures to ensure that unsuspecting members of public do not fall victim of merchants of fake drugs.

In a statement on Friday, the company said it has has always been at the forefront in the fight against fake and counterfeit medicines in Nigeria, noting that it was in an effort to checkmate the menace that it became one of the first companies to sign on to the anti counterfeit technology introduced by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2011.

“We were one of the first pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria to sign on to the new anti counterfeiting technology introduced by NAFDAC in 2011 with our flagship anti malaria; Lonart,” the company said in a statement. “Lonart remains the number one choice in anti malaria all over the country.”

The company said customers should endeavour to scratch the panel and send the unique numbers to the codes provided before using the drugs.

“To identify a fake, the process is simple; buy the drug from a reputable Pharmacy, scratch the panel to reveal a set of unique numbers then send the unique numbers to a short code and await a response.

“In the event of a *fake do not use* response the sms has outlined the steps to take to ensure the information gets to the government agency saddled with the responsibility of handling such issues when they arise.”

The company also clarified that there is no Lonart App as some have suggested.

“It is also important to note that there is no App known as Lonart App, it simply does not exist. The only platform empowered to give information on the unique set of numbers is Sproxil Inc the company that provides the service.

“This is a public service announcement from Greenlife Pharmaceuticals ‘the vanguard of healthy living,'” the statement concluded.

Greenlife Marketing Manager, Mr. Derrick Osondu subsequently told Business Hallmark that company has been putting measures in place to checkmate counterfeiting and would continue to do more.

“The assurances we give our public is that we were one of the first to sign on with the mobile authentication service that NAFDAC endorsed sometimes in 2011. We spend a lot of of money in terms of research to come up with our products and when we do, we encourage every consumer of our product to scratch the the pin on the panel and send the pin to a dedicated number before they consume the product,” Osondu said.

“It is actually in the course of scratching that they find out these fake products. That shows that the technology is working. However, what we must do is to encourage people to scratch more often. Indeed, to scratch each time they buy our products so that we can always know when our product is faked and therefore, be in a better position to take action.”

He said the company is doing all it can to create awareness, noting the there ought to be more collaboration between the agencies and the producers in that regard.

“We are doing a lot in terms of awareness; to educate people on the importance of scratching and sending these pin numbers. We are still going to do more. But I think that there ought to be more synergy between NAFDAC which introduced the technology, the companies that offer the technology and the companies whose products use the technology. It should be a three pronged effort. But unfortunately, as it is, it seems that the companies are bearing the brunt. And it’s not easy financially to do that.

“However, in our own way, in our media skits, we always tell people to scratch. But yes, we are going to do more in terms of creating awareness and we have to collaborate more with the agencies.

“We continue encourage our consumers to scratch and verify before they use. And they should also help us by contacting us when they notice that the drug is fake so we can swing into action. What we assure them is that we will take on such individuals with the relevant authorities.”