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FG Bans Production Of Codeine Containing Syrups In Nigeria.


The Federal Ministry of Health has directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ban with immediate effect further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole made this known in his office in Abuja on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

He said that the directive became necessary due to the gross abuse  Codeine usage has been subjected to in the country.

In its stead, the Minister said Codeine containing cough syrups should be replaced with dextromethorphan which is less addictive.

He also directed the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) and NAFDAC to supervise the recall for labelling and audit trailing of all codeine containing cough syrups in the country, while he has also banned sales of Codeine containing cough syrup without prescription across the country.

He noted that the NAFDAC had an emergency meeting with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group (PMGMAN) to inform them that there is an embargo on all new applications for registration of codeine- containing cough syrups as well as applications for renewal has been abolished.

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has been directed to continue enforcement activities on Pharmacies, Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendor’s Shops and outlets throughout the country.

The NAFDAC was also directed to fully carry out its functions among others: to regulate and control the manufacturing, distribution and sale of drugs, including inspection at points of entry of drugs, drug products and food for compliance with the new directive.

The Minister stated that the FMOH shall ensure collaboration among regulatory agencies namely, NAFDAC, PCN, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), for effective implementation of extant Acts, regulations, policies and guidelines on codeine control and usage.

‘Furthermore, these agencies shall work together to increase pharmacovigilance around codeine, tramadol and other related substances of abuse,’ Adewole stated.

Already, NAFDAC has developed IEC materials that will be used in an already planned national campaign against drug abuse, an awareness programme thatincludes Young Pharmacists Group of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria. This will soon be flagged off in Kano and Lagos.
As a way of discouraging youths to shun the drugs, the Federal Government through Federal Ministry of Health shall partner with National Orientation Agency (NOA), Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Football celebrities, members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Performing Musicians of Nigeria and other celebrities to drive national campaign against drug abuse.

‘The FMOH shall ensure that Drug treatment intervention for victims of substances abuse shall be undertaken across the spectrum of health care delivery system in the country,’ Adewole stated.

He stated that Civil Society Organizations shall be strengthened to deliver effective sensitization, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services.

Recalled that in view of the serious public health concerns drugs abuse poses to Nigerians , a working group which comprised of experts from various Ministries, Agencies of Government (including regulatory agencies), Development Partners and Associations was constituted in January and tagged Codeine Control and other Related Matters Working Group (CCRWG).

The CCRWG was formally inaugurated on January 23, 2018 with clear Terms of Reference of developing key recommendations and strategies to address the menace of codeine, tramadol and other related substances in Nigeria. 

The CCRWG submitted its interim report on April 12, 2018 and recommended short-, medium- and long-term measures for implementation in a memorandum submitted to the Minister, today, 1st of May 2018.

Finally, Professor Adewole restated the commitment of FGN to ensure the full implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG) by January 01, 2019 and closure of all open drug markets penultimate the implementation date of the NDDG that is, December 31, 2018. It is a public knowledge that easy access to codeine, tramadol and other substances of abuse is promoted by the chaotic drug distribution system.

Signed
Olajide Oshundun
Assistant Director Of Information
Federal Ministry of Health
May 1, 2018

Meanwhile, Nigerians have shared their view on the issue as Gbetu TV takes to social media for comments. 

Some have blamed celebrities for promoting this simple medicine which has become a strong killer of youths in their art, the music industry have a good number trending songs doing this. 

Also, we are being let to know that Codeine is being sold in night clubs as part of the drinks.

According to a viral post on the Guardian Online by Ruona Meyer on Sunday, 29th April titled "Secrets of Nigeria’s illicit codeine trade revealed", an estimated three million bottles of codeine syrup find their way into the hands – and throats – of pre - teens, young adults and housewives every day in Kano state,  together with neighbouring Jigawa State, as assisted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA ).

Butressing this, the Doriye Rehabilitation Centre in Kano, said the facility was battling with a 500 per cent increase in the number of patients with codeine addiction in the last two years ; an average of 40 patients with codeine related ailments are treated at the clinic.

The abuse of codeine can cause - seizures , multiple organ damage , acute pancreatitis , lack of muscle tone and death.

"We Don ’ t Have That Much Cough In Nigeria"






At GBETU we say no to Drug and most importantly no to Codeine. 

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