Codeine Syrup Crisis: NAFDAC Lifts Shutdown on Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd, Two Others

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has lifted the shutdown order on three pharmaceutical over the codeine syrup scandal. The companies include the Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd, Lagos, Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited and Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited in Ilorin, Kwara .

In a statement released yesterday by the Director General of the association, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, the agency said the decision to lift the shutdown was reached after a meeting with top executives of the companies that were implicated in the codeine syrup distribution.

“The three companies cooperated with NAFDAC during the meeting, provided the needed documents, some of which are being verified. The shutdown of the three companies has been lifted and the normal company operations can resume. However, the companies have been given the following sanctions,” the statement read in part.

Recall that shortly after the expository report by BBC on the abuse of Codeine by Nigerian youths was aired, the agency swung into action, shutting down the operation base of these three pharmaceutical companies after some of their staff were implicated.

The affected companies were ordered to immediately stop the production of codeine syrup. It also instructed that an hold should be placed on the active pharmaceutical ingredient and the already made codeine syrups stands. Also, all codeine products are to be recalled and the process verified through audit trail verified by NAFDAC.

“An embargo has been placed on new applications for permit or renewals for the importation of codeine as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations, i.e., NAFDAC will not issue any permit until further notice. The companies have been charged with administrative fees that are commensurate with the respective violations,” the statement read

The agency also noted that the stakeholders meeting was in line with the Minister of Health pronouncements in his press release on the codeine crisis.

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