Enabling Pharmaceutical Traceability in The Nigerian Supply Chain using GS1 Global Standards: Lean Traceability Including In-Country Serialization of COVID-19 Vaccines


  • Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
  • John Olusola Kayode National Agency for Food and Drug Administraation and Control (NAFDAC)
  • Adekunle Adebola Adeniran National Agency for Food and Drug Administraation and Control (NAFDAC)
  • Folasade Monisola Osho National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
  • Walter Udokwelu National Agency for Food and Drug Administraation and Control (NAFDAC)




Traceability, Masterdata, Event data, Serialization, Supply chain, substandard and falsified medicines, COVID-19 vaccines


Traceability of the pharmaceutical products across a supply chain creates an environment that provides visibility of the product status from plant to patient.  The supply chain is the trade journey products make to consumers or retail stores (e.g. pharmacy store, patented drug store, medical store etc.,) via a network of producers, manufacturers, distributors, transporters and vendors taking that product from creation to delivery. Some of the key benefits of introducing traceability in the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector besides securing the supply chain includes an increment in the quality of data to support pharmacovigilance, decrease in the presence of substandard and falsified (SF) medications and ultimately ensuring patient safety. The drug distribution system in Nigeria is largely undefined and there have been in-country efforts to sanitize it. One such effort has produced a national policy document referred to as the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy which stipulates the plan to achieve supply chain visibility, prevent infiltration of the SFs and strengthen existing regulatory and legal frameworks in Nigeria using GS1 global standards. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other drug regulatory agencies in Africa jointly signed a Call to Action during the 2nd GS1 African Healthcare Conference held in Lagos, Nigeria on September 16-20, 2019 to demonstrate commitment to pursue pharmaceutical traceability by adopting global supply chain standards. This article focuses on how NAFDAC in collaboration with GS1 Nigeria, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and other partners have implemented traceability as a public sector pilot for the COVID-19 vaccines received in Nigeria from March 2021 to December 2021.  This included the serialization of COVID-19 vaccines that were received without serial numbers that uniquely identify the secondary packing of the COVID-19 vaccines. The lessons learned from the pilot would be used to support development and dissemination of tracebility regulation, publish guidelines for traceability implementation, and engage stakeholders meaningfully as Nigeria implements full track and trace of pharmaceutical products.


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2023-09-18 — Updated on 2023-11-16




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