The National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria said recently they have seized a large consignment of Chinese-made fake drugs labeled 'Made in India'.
Last week, the NAFDAC issued a press release stating those fake anti-malarial generic pharmaceuticals with the label 'Made in India' were actually found to have been produced in China.
The UK newspaper The Observer had also reported recently that fake Chinese drugs were flooding the UK market.
Indian government has registered 'strong protest' with the China's foreign trade ministry, according to sources in the commerce ministry of India.
China denied that it was a major exporter of fake drugs. Bian Zhenjia, China's deputy commissioner of the State Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it was wrong to say that China was a major exporter of fake drugs.
''I do not agree with what the foreign media has been saying. The Chinese government has always paid great attention to cracking down on fake drugs,'' Bian said at a news conference in Beijing yesterday.
The India’ High Commissioner in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, Mahesh Sachdev said: While this a case of a Chinese company exporting fake drugs labeled 'Made in India' which has been accidentally exposed, it is unlikely to be an isolated incident.
Indeed there is no reason for Nigeria to be the only country to be receiving such consignments, Mahesh Sachdev wrote in a letter to his country's Commerce Secretary GSK Pillai.
It not only dents our image and takes our legitimate market share, it also erodes the distinction between generic and fake medicines that we have been campaigning for at WHO and WTO, the High commissioner said in the letter.
About 60% of drugs in Nigeria are imported. Between 2001 and 2007, more than 30 Indian and Chinese companies were banned in Nigeria for exporting fake drugs to the country.
India and China have been accused of exporting drugs to Africa that fail to meet international safety standards. The main markets involved are Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and West Africa.
The Nigerian minister of information, Dorothy Dora Akunyili said that fake drug manufacturers have become so sophisticated that even multinational drug companies find it difficult to say whether their own drugs in Nigeria are genuine or fakes.