The House of Representatives has urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to regulate activities of online drug advertisers and sellers in Nigeria.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Onofiok Luke (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) at Tuesday’s in Abuja.
Presenting the motion, Luke said that there was a need to regulate online advertisers and sellers of drugs because were delivering marketing messages to unidentified and intended audiences.
Luke stated that this was designed to persuade the targeted customers to engage in a specific action including making a purchase.
He said that online advertisement had become increasingly important to business owners and service providers across the world because it was cost-efficient.
The Rep added that online vendors had capitalised on free access to the internet and social media platforms to advertise and sell unregistered and sometimes fake drugs to unsuspecting members of the public.
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He added that Nigerians were being enticed into buying the drugs ranging from dietary supplements, cholesterol-lowering medicine including tramadol and aspirin to viagra among others
The lawmaker said that the drugs were usually purchased without a doctor’s prescription or pharmacist’s advice.
He noted that the law required that the advertisement of any drug or related product should be accurate, complete, clear and designed to promote credibility and trust to the public.
The House called on the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) to liaise with online advertising companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter among others to monitor, control and enforce standards.
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The House also urged the Pharmacists Council of Nigerian to sanction and prosecute individuals engaging in the sales and promotion of medicine online without requisite authorisation in line with the law.
The House also urged the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to take necessary action towards protecting consumers of online drugs.