The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned medicine vendors operating in open drug markets nationwide to prepare for immediate relocation to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) in their respective cities once it becomes operational.

The agency said the move became important

because the open drug market is a major source of substandard and falsified (SF) medicines in the country.

Nigeria has one Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) situated in Kano while three additional centres planned for Lagos, Aba, and Onitsha, cities with the highest density of open drug markets are yet to be established.

The warning followed the pronouncement of an Appeal Court in favour of the relocation of the open drug market in Mai Karami Plaza, Niger Street, Malam Kato and Sabon Gari areas of Kano after a protracted legal battle

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, described the Appeal Court’s ruling as a monumental landmark, adding that it not only proves the government is on the right course but also emboldens NAFDAC in executing its mandate of safeguarding the health of Nigerians.

She emphasised that due to Nigeria’s unique circumstances, with the open drug market being exclusive to the country, NAFDAC remains committed to its duty of cleansing the pharmaceutical market to eliminate substandard and falsified medicines from circulation in Nigeria.

She said being the only country where the open drug market exists due to Nigeria’s unique circumstances, NAFDAC will not shirk its responsibility to sanitize the medicine market to curb SF medicines from the Nigerian market.


Speaking at a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, Adeyeye lamented that open drug market vendors in Mai Karami Plaza, Niger Street, Malam Kato and Sabon Gari areas of Kano resisted the relocation for a very long time which eventually culminated in a legal action.

She however noted that since the decision to create the CWC was a government decision mainly to curb substandard and falsified medicines and in line with global best practice, justice eventually prevailed.

She said: The CWC in Kano was the first to be built as part of ensuring proper regulation of drug distribution and sale in Nigeria, and mitigation of SFs.

“The chaotic drug distribution system in Nigeria has been a sore point to drug regulatory Agencies, especially to NAFDAC. 

“This disorderly chain of movement of medicine in the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the final consumer is inimical to the efficacy of pharmaceutical products and is the primary cause of Substandard and Falsified (SF) medicines in circulation. 

“To eliminate SFs, the Presidential Committee on Pharmaceutical Sector Reform (PCPSR), constituted in 2003 to among others, to develop strategies towards the sanitization of the drug distribution system in Nigeria.

“The Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWC) is a product of the PCPSR. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate, is one of the architects of CWC and in full support of the Centres”. 



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