A market of 180 million people. A product with great reviews in local media. However, the local agent for a Swiss manufacturer was importing far less than the numbers revealed in public contract information for supplies of this particular pharmaceutical product in Nigeria.
A potential client was concerned about impropriety regarding the sale of its pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.
Reported in-country sales were in excess compared to export volumes recorded by the pharmaceutical company to the local agent in Nigeria.
Nothing else seemed amiss; there were positive reviews in local media and even an international donor organization-funded contract for the same product.
Checks with the local drug regulatory authorities reported no complaints regarding the local agent or products they dealt in within the country. A random sampling of the pharmaceutical product from various outlets supplied by the local agent revealed no visible differences in packaging.
Checks with customs authorities however revealed a different story, the local agent was importing significant amount of products from a South Asian country. Further checks revealed that these products were a counterfeit version of the Swiss pharmaceutical product, with identical ingredients and forged packaging.