Following the concerns of the House of Representatives about ensuring that the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) Scheme is reactivated and applied to all drugs purchased in the country, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) in partnership with Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) have presented guidelines to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of the MAS.
Professor Moji Adeyeye, the Director-General, NAFDAC has said that the MAS scheme is one of the anti-counterfeiting strategies to detect substandard and falsified medical products imported or manufactured in the country, these guidelines would strengthen its implementation and enforcement by stakeholders in Nigeria. While presenting these guidelines, she said some challenges were encountered during the process of implementation which include, absence of formal Memorandum of Understanding with service providers, reporting template and the guidelines for the procurements of the MAS scheme, a steering committee was reconstituted to address the issues.
Prof. Adeyeye also noted that the reporting template was developed and circulated to MAS service providers to enhance reporting of its activities, adding that the guidelines published with the support of CHAI spells out the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, especially holders of Certificate of Registration, the scheme’s service providers and NAFDAC. MAS provides a platform to empower over 167 million subscribers on the Nigerian mobile network to verify the authenticity of antimalarials, antibiotics and other medicines currently on the scheme.
Dr. Chizoba Fashana, representing the country manager of CHAI said the problem of the implantation and regulatory framework of the MAS project is the late review of the scheme, adding that the organization is working with stakeholders to support the development of the guidelines and its structure in order to reduce Nigeria’s underperformance in drugs.