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NAFDAC raises alarm over the existence of fake Covid-19 test kits

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has alerted Nigerians to the existence of fake Covid-19 Antigen rapid test kits in circulation.

The notification is contained in a public alert issued by NAFDAC and released to the press on Sunday in Abuja.

Health Canada in its communication, informed NAFDAC of the existence of these counterfeit BTNX Incorporated Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits, adding that these fake test kits were sold online in 25-pack boxes by a distributor called Healthful Plus who does not have the required licence.

Details on the counterfeit Covid-19 test kits

NAFDAC said the packaging of the counterfeit kits looks like the authentic BTNX Inc. products in colour and typeface and uses the BTNX Incorporated.

The food and drug regulator noted that the device identifier has “COV-19C25”, with several key differences, and then labelled as manufactured by “Health Advance Inc.” instead of BTNX Inc.

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NAFDAC stated that on the packaging, Health Advance was identified as the “Official Canadian Distributor of the counterfeit products, pointing out that the products had a claim of endorsement by government authorities, such as Health Canada.

NAFDAC stated, “Genuine COVID-19 Antigen test kit helps detect certain proteins in the virus. Rapid antigen tests are designed to tell in a few minutes whether someone is infected or not.

“It is recommended as a high-performing test for individuals with symptoms, high-risk populations and healthcare or casual workers.

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“Counterfeit health products are imitations of authentic products. The safety and effectiveness of these counterfeit test kits have not been assessed.

“The genuine manufacturer BTNX Inc. has confirmed that the devices were counterfeit.’’

NAFDAC outlines cautionary measures

  • The agency advised wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and consumers to ensure that their products are obtained from authentic and reliable sources.
  • It also encouraged healthcare providers to Increase vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale or use of counterfeit COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits.
  • It advised healthcare providers to prevent the administration of the product to unsuspecting patients, adding that the products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.
  • NAFDAC said that anybody in possession of the counterfeit product should immediately discontinue sale or use and submit stock to the nearest agency office.

The agency in its statement encouraged healthcare providers and consumers to report suspected counterfeit health products to NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or email: sf.alert@nafdac.gov.ng.

NAFDAC also advised the public to report adverse effects via pharmacovigilance@nafdac.gov.ng, and e-reporting platforms www.nafdac.gov.ng or via the Med- safety application for download.

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