Codeine abuse: NAFDAC Closed Emzor, other pharmaceuticals
NAFDAC has closed down the Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Ltd, and BIORAJ Pharmaceutical Ltd. They are both in Ilorin, Kwara, and the Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Lagos as it examined the codeine-based syrup epidemic.
The codeine-based syrup is used for cough treatment, but when abused could lead to harmful and deadly addiction.
In a report by NAFDAC on Monday, Director General of the Agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye stated that the clampdown was due to the companies’ incompetence to provide required documents for NAFDAC officials during the investigation of the facilities at Ilorin and Lagos.
“Due to insufficient evidence gathered and apparent resistance to provide needed documents during an 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,’’ the statement said.
“On May 2 and 3, a team of nine NAFDAC officers was sent to carry out an 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 shutdown 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 statement said.
Nan reports that the Federal Health Ministry declared a ban on the production and import of cough syrup that contains codeine last week.
This was on the track of a BBC documentary on how codeine-based cough syrups were fuelling an addiction epidemic in the northern part of Nigeria.