Written by Williams ABAH

Addiction: FG bans codeine production, importation

 

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 well as pharmaceutical ingredients for cough preparations. 

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this known in his office in Abuja, stating that the directive became necessary due to the gross abuse of codeine usage in the country. 

The minister said codeine containing cough syrups should be replaced with dextromethorphan which is less addictive, while directing 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. 

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 minister stated that the ministry 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. 

Adewole also said that these agencies shall work together to increase pharmacovigilance around codeine, tramadol and other related substances of abuse. 

 

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