‘Closure of pharmaceutical companies will affect economy’
A civil society group, Concerned Nigerians, have described the closure of three pharmaceutical organisations as hasty and in bad faith.
The companies; Emzor, Bioraj and Peace Standard Pharmaceuticals were closed over their production of Codeine syrup.
They were shut by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), following the abuse of the products across the country.
The group raised concerns that the closure would have effect on the economy, especially the thousands of jobs and revenue that would be lost.
The convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju, urged government to look for a way to improve the nation’s health care system and prevent young Nigerians from abusing drugs.
He also called for the creation of rehabilitation centres for those who have been negatively affected.
According to him: “Until last week, according to facts available to us, Codeine Syrup production was legal. Why should NAFDAC shut down the production lines of these companies when they have not violated any law?
“Codeine Syrup is not the only drug that is being produced by these companies. Antimalaria, Antibiotics and several other essential drugs are also being produced.
Adeyanju cautioned that Nigerians depend on these companies for their drugs, adding that they don’t have the luxury to travel abroad like President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the convener, shutting down these pharmaceutical companies will not end the problem, except good policies and programmes.
He recalled that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had in its report, stated that the number of unemployed Nigerians had risen under the current administration from 8,036million in 2015, to 15.998 million in the third quarter of 2017.
“It would be callous and insensitive on the part of the government to send more Nigerians into the unemployment market by shutting down three major pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria,” he said.
The group urged the Federal Government to reopen the firms to enable them to continue production, and contribute to the economy.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, had disclosed that the decision was reached after investigations and inspections were made on the implicated companies.
She said the reopening of the affected companies would depend on their level of cooperation at the comprehensive stage of NAFDAC’s investigations.
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