Politics Codeine: NAFDAC shuts down Emzor, 2 other pharmaceutical companies

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NAFDAC said the three companies remain closed and the reopening of the manufacturing companies will depend on the level of cooperation that is shown during the comprehensive investigation.

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(Daily Post)
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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has shut down all product lines of  Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited in Lagos and two companies in Nigeria to allow for a full and comprehensive investigation in the distribution and illegal sales of codeine.

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

The agency in a statement released on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, and signed by the Director General (DG), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, said the three companies remain closed and the reopening of the manufacturing companies will depend on the level of cooperation that is shown during the comprehensive investigation.

Also READ: 3 takeaways from BBC Africa's documentary on codeine abuse in Nigeria

BBC Report On Codeine abuse

On Monday, April 30, 2018, BBC Africa released a snippet of an investigative documentary on codeine abuse in Nigeria.

The documentary, titled ‘Sweet Sweet Codeine’, delves into the underworld of codeine distribution and sale in Nigeria as well as the effects of the drug on young women and men around the country.

Reactions from stakeholders

‘Sweet Sweet Codeine’ has since revitalised a dwindling conversation on codeine abuse in Nigeria, sparking reactions and conversations on social media. It has even spurred the federal government into action and elicited responses from private corporations.

The outcome of the documentary on abuse use of codeine also caused Emzor pharmaceutical company to suspend the production of codeine cough syrup, which is sending Nigerian youths to early graves and causing the recent hike of young people in rehabilitation centres and psychiatric homes across the country.

Emzor's position

Emzor pharmaceutical in a statement released last week said the company is not involved in the direct sales to individual members of the public.

We have stopped the production and distribution of Emzolyn with Codeine, pending a thorough review,” according to the statement.

The company further stated that its average daily production level is below 0.5% of the estimated daily amounts of codeine reportedly consumed in the two Northern States mentioned in the BBC report and do not supply Emzolyn with Codeine in the two Northern States mentioned in line with the directives of the respective State government.