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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Codeine: NAFDAC Seals Top Pharmaceutical Companies

Codeine: NAFDAC Seals Top Pharmaceutical Companies

Codeine-based syrup is used in treatment of cough, but when abused could lead to harmful and deadly addiction

The National Agency for Foods and Drugs administration and Control has shut down Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited, both in Ilorin, Kwara State and the Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industry, Lagos as it probed the codeine-based syrup epidemic.

Codeine-based syrup is used in treatment of cough, but when abused could lead to harmful and deadly addiction.

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In a statement by NAFDAC on Monday, the Director General of the Agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the clampdown was due to the inability of the companies to provide required documents for officials of the agency during the inspection of the facilities in Ilorin and Lagos.

Adeyeye said: “Due to insufficient evidence gathered and apparent resistance to provide needed documents during inspection on May 2, 2018 at the respective companies in Ilorin and Lagos, respectively, it has become necessary to shut down all product lines of the three companies.

“The companies are the Peace Standard Pharmaceutical ltd. at Plots 3 & 8, Adewole Industrial Estate, Lubcon Avenue, Ilorin, Kwara State and Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited. No 405 Kaima Road, Ilorin, Kwara State.

“Also shut down was the Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd., Ajao Estate, Lagos.

“This is to allow for a full and comprehensive investigation; the three companies therefore remain closed.

“On May 2 and 3, a team of nine NAFDAC officers were sent to carry out investigational inspection at the companies that are licensed to manufacture codeine-containing syrup, and which were implicated in a BBC documentary.

“The team comprised of two from Drug and Evaluation Research – DER and seven from Investigation & Enforcement – I&E) and ten mobile police officers

“The focus of the assignment was to access and monitor from records the utilization, sales and effective distribution of the codeine containing cough syrups to the end users.

“Meanwhile, meeting of the stakeholders mentioned above is being planned while the shut down and full investigations continue.
“The reopening of the manufacturing companies will depend on the level of cooperation that is shown during the comprehensive investigation.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Health Ministry announced a ban on the production and importation of cough syrup containing codeine last week.

This was in the wake of a BBC documentary on how codeine-based cough syrups were fuelling an addiction epidemic in northern Nigeria.

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