Advertising NAFDAC Regulated Products : Understanding The Framework For Advertising NAFDAC Regulated Products And What The Law Requires Of Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors And Retailers

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is the body that regulates and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals amongst other functions stipulated under the NAFDAC `Act [1]. One of the functions of NAFDAC that may be overlooked by manufacturers, importers distributors and retailers of regulated products, is the power of NAFDAC to approve the advertisement of these regulated products.

The specific guidelines regulating the advertisement of NAFDAC regulated products are the Guidelines for the Advertisement of NAFDAC Regulated Products, Guidelines for Advertisement Control of Food Products in Nigeria; Guidelines For Advertisement of Medical Products, Cosmetics, Veterinary Products and Finished Chemicals (“Guidelines”).

These Guidelines are aimed to closely regulate the advertisement of NAFDAC regulated products by stipulating requirements for obtaining approval as well as penalty for the advertisement of unapproved products. The purpose of this article is to examine the scope of applicability of the NAFDAC advertising guidelines and the compliance requirement for each of the listed NAFDAC advertising guidelines.

Scope Of Applicability Of The Advertising Guidelines

The Guidelines for Advertisement Control of Food Products in Nigeria defines advertisement to mean “publicity of goods and description of all food which includes any form of notices in circulars, handouts, labels, wrappers, catalogues and billboards, posters, newspapers, magazines, and any other documents) made orally or otherwise or by means of projected light”. Flowing from the definition of advertisement, all platforms carrying on advertisement of NAFDAC regulated products are within the scope of applicability, including but not limited to digital platform. A glance at the documentary requirement for the application of approval of NAFDAC regulated product is indicative that the requirement extends to adverts on social media and digital platforms. Requirements such as scripts/artwork/storyboard for online adverts. However, it is important to note that the scope of applicability does not extend to products on the Federal Government Import Prohibition List[2] and the NAFDAC ceiling list.[3]

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