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Emzor canvases framework for codeine usage

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Dr. Stella Okoli

Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries has canvassed the need for a framework on codeine syrup usage.

This followed the recent closure of the company by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) over alleged role in the abuse of the drug in the country.

The agency had subsequently banned further production of the drug in the country.

In a documentary on the abuse of codeine cough syrup by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), it was shown that youths, including housewives abuse the drug indiscriminately in the northern parts of the country.

At a press briefing on the issue, the company’s The Group Managing Director of Emzor, Dr. Stella Okoli, expressed appreciation at the company’s re-opening.

Also, the Executive Director, General Duties and Human Resources and Finance, Mrs. Uzoma Ezeoke, stressed the necessity of the framework to make everyone properly guided in the industry.

She said Emzor is currently holding talks with the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) on the issue, which they believe would yield the desired results.

Ezeoke said the company doesn’t know how a documentary alone could result in the closure of a manufacturing site, adding: “The two are not related.”

She remakes that a closure of a manufacturing site is typically related to the violation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which could not be meant for them, because quality is a trademark of the organisation.

Also, the company’s Regulatory Affairs Manager, Mrs. Chinelu Umeh, debunked the claim that the company did not respond to NAFDAC’s claim until its factory was shut down.

The GMP certificates, she noted, are given by NAFDAC bi-annually and the company has permit for the product in question.

According to her, codeine is a highly controlled product, the permit is a long process, which is not easy to get.

“It is an international affairs and we have a valid permit and license to manufacture it,” she added.


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