Say No To Drugs

FG Bans Codeine Containing Syrups

The FGN has ordered the immediate ban on issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparation. Professor Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health said the move became necessary due to the gross abuse Codeine usage has been subjected to in the country.

The Minister of Health noted that Codeine containing cough syrups should be replaced with dextromethorphan, which is less addictive. Prof.Adewole also directed the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, (PCN) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to supervise the recall for labelling and audit trailing of all Codeine-containing cough syrups in the country. The Minister has also banned sales of Codeine-containing cough syrup without prescription across the country.

Professor Isaac Adewole observed that 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. Adewole urged the PCN to continue enforcement activities on pharmacies, patent and proprietary medicine vendors outlets throughout the country.

The Minister of Health also instructed NAFDAC 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.

Professor Isaac Adewole 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.

These agencies shall work together to increase pharmacovigilance around Codeine, Tramadol and other related substances of abuse,

Prof. Adewole stated.

NAFDAC has already developed IEC materials that will be used in an already planned national campaign against drug abuse, and awareness programme that includes 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.

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