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FG sets up 16 member committee on codeine, others to fight drug abuse

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Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Worried by the increasing cases of abuse of drugs among the populace, the Federal Government has set up a committee to review the continuous usage of codeine, Tramadol and other related substances in the county.

The 16 member Committee on the Codeine Control Working and other related Matter Group (CCRWG) which has Prof. Oluwatoyin Odeku as the Chairperson has four to six weeks to turn in its preliminary report.

Inaugurating the committee yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole said that it is has become expedient to break the supply end of the drugs and prevent people from causing harm to themselves and to the society.

Adewole observed that the alarming rate at which people have resorted to drugs, has necessitated the need to find out why they are using these drugs adding that government in recent times had confisicated and destroy many of these products.

He said, “It is not enough to destroy the products or enforce regulations ,we need to find out why they are using these drugs,” he stressed.”

The terms of reference which the minister said is limitless include: To look into the distribution system of the drugs; how the drugs get into the market; how can we manage the system; are these drugs so essential that we cannot ban them; are there no alternatives.

Also speaking, the Registrar, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) , Elijah Mohammed said that the safety and concerns around the use and misuse of codeine containing preparations are assuming frieghtening dimensionin some part of the country
Mohammed noted that even as the nation strives to create a sanitized drug distribution system through the National Drug Distribution Guideline(NDDG), to arrest the issue, it must be aware that a large number of Nigerians are already addicted to some of these medicines adding that PCN is currently working with technical group of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria to address the challenge.

He observed that with the inauguration of the working group, the issuing of permit for manufacturing of codine would be controlled in order to have less consumption.


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