8 May 2018

Nigeria: Codeine Crisis - NAFDAC Shuts Emzor, Bioraj, Peace Standard Pharmaceuticals

Photo: Daily Trust
Codeine abuse in Nigeria.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has shut down Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Bioraj Pharmaceuticals and Peace Standard Pharmaceuticals for their alleged roles in the distribution of Codeine syrups in black market.

Stating this in a statement made available to THISDAY last night, and signed by the Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the regulatory body said the decision to shut the three pharmaceutical firms was due to insufficient evidence gathered from them and their apparent resistance to provide needed documents during its inspection at the respective companies in Ilorin and Lagos.

Adeyeye said: "It has become necessary to shut down all product lines of the three companies so as to allow for a full and comprehensive investigation.

"The companies therefore remain closed. The reopening of the manufacturing companies will depend on the level of cooperation that is shown during the comprehensive investigation."

The DG said the genesis of the shutting down of the companies started after she had a meeting with technical directors of NAFDAC on how to strengthen the weakness in the control of the manufacturing and distribution of codeine-containing medicines as demonstrated in the recently released BBC documentary.

The DG noted that the stakeholders involved in the production and regulation of codeine containing products should hold a meeting as quickly as possible.

The stakeholders, according to her include Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG- MAN), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN). Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), NAFDAC, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN).

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