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NAFDAC Shuts Down Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Two Others Over Codeine Abuse Crises

Valentine Chinyem

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Following the reports which made rounds last week, on the abuse of codeine syrups by youths in the country and the Federal Government’s directive to the health ministry, to ban with immediate effect further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough syrup preparations in the country, The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has therefore, shut down three companies, who are directly involved in the crises.

They are, Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd.

The Director-General of the Agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who disclosed this in a statement, said, the decison was taken after thorouhh investigation and inspections at the affected companies.

She said, “Due to insufficient evidence gathered and apparent resistance to provide needed documents during our inspection on May 2, 2018, at the respective companies in Ilorin and Lagos, respectively, it has become necessary to shut down all the product lines of the three companies – Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited, plots 3 & 8, Adewole Industrial Estate, Lubcon Avenue, Ilorin, Kwara State; Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited, 405 Kaima Road, Ilorin, Kwara State and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd., Ajao Estate, Lagos. This is to allow for a full and comprehensive investigation. The three 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 constituted a task force to be made up of NAFDAC directors in charge of registration and regulatory affairs; narcotics and controlled substances; and drug evaluation and research.

“Members of PMG-MAN in the committee included the Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, Fidson Healthcare; May & Baker PLC; and Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries.

“A team of nine NAFDAC and ten mobile police officers had been sent to Ilorin, Kwara state on May 2, 2018, to carry out an investigatory inspection at the companies of the two different pharmaceutical companies that are licensed to manufacture codeine-containing syrup, and which were implicated in the BBC documentary.”