Nigeria has been very serious regarding its international attempts at addressing the challenges of counterfeit drugs since Dora Akunyili took over the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2001. To deal with the serious issues of counterfeits, the initial move was to address issues of corruption.
In five years Akunyili, a 52-year-old professor of pharmacology, has gained a lot of popularity in Nigeria due to her strong approach against corruption.
Nigeria is currently considered as one of the most corrupt nations over the globe, according to Transparency International. Prior to Akunyili, various staffs used to misuse their power to charge money from various business groups and also were involved in taking bribes from counterfeiters simply to allow them in the Nigerian medicines market. Akunyili dismissed many corrupt r officers. To prioritize honesty among the other staffs and to boost confidence in them, she offered incentives like foreign training, better facilities and work culture.
Akunyili stated to a leading media that: “The level of corruption we had in 2001 cannot in any way be compared to what we have now. It has decreased to almost zero. But it is still a problem. We cannot rule it out completely.”