Nigerians have been warned of counterfeit Covid-19 Antigen rapid test kits currently in circulation.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) raised the alarm in a NAFDAC public alert released to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.
According to the agency, the counterfeit BTNX Incorporated COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits were communicated to NAFDAC by Health Canada. NAFDAC quoted Health Canada as saying that the fake test kits were sold online in 25-pack boxes by a distributor called Healthful Plus which had no required licence.
NAFDAC said the packaging of the counterfeit kits resembles the authentic BTNX Inc. products in colour and typeface and uses the BTNX Incorporated. It said that the device identifier has “COV-19C25”, but also has several key differences, adding that it was labelled as manufactured by “Health Advance Inc.” instead of BTNX Inc.
The agency stated that on the packaging Health Advance was identified as the “Official Canadian Distributor of the counterfeit products”. It pointed out that the products had a claim of endorsement by government authorities, such as Health Canada.
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.
NAFDAC advised the public to report adverse effects via email@example.com, and e-reporting platforms www.nafdac.gov.ng or via the Med- safety application for download. It also advised Healthcare providers and consumers to report suspected counterfeit health products to NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.