Early this week, the Federal Government in Nigeria announced the ban of further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredients for cough preparations.
The Federal Government directives against the use of codeine takes effect immediately as the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole made the disclosure in Abuja.
Professor Adewole stated that the directive became imperative as many Nigerians have grossly abused Codeine usage. He added that cough syrups should be replaced with dextromethorphan which is less addictive.
The Minister also directed the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, (PCN) and the 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.
“NAFDAC was directed to fully 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.
“The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) was also directed to continue enforcement activities on Pharmacies, Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendor’s Shops and outlets throughout the country”.
Professor Adewole called for more partnerships with other organizations including the 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 a national campaign against drug abuse and discourage youths from this potentially deadly habit.