Why FG banned importation of codeine-based syrup

The Federal Ministry of Health, has directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to ban with immediate effect further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said this in a statement on Tuesday.

The directive came less than 48 hours after a documentary titled, ‘Sweet, Sweet Codeine,’ was aired on BBC.

The documentary which has gone viral showed some Nigerian youths who were addicted to codeine displaying symptoms of mental illness and confined to an ill-equipped rehabilitation centre.

The minister said the decision to ban codeine became necessary due to the gross abuse of its use.

Adewole said cough syrups containing codeine should be replaced with dextromethorphan which is less addictive.

He also directed the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria and NAFDAC to supervise the recall for labelling and audit trailing of all cough syrups that contain codeine in the country.

The minister noted that NAFDAC had an emergency meeting with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group to inform them that there was an embargo on all new applications for registration of codeine-containing cough syrups as well as applications for renewal had been abolished.

The statement read in part, “The PCN has been directed to continue enforcement activities on pharmacies, patent and proprietary medicine vendor shops and outlets throughout the country.”

NAFDAC was also directed to fully carry out its functions among others: to 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.


Adewole said the ministry would ensure collaboration among regulatory agencies namely, NAFDAC, PCN, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, for effective implementation of extant Acts, regulations, policies and guidelines on codeine control and usage.

“Furthermore, these agencies shall work together to increase pharmaco-vigilance around codeine, tramadol and other related substances of abuse,” Adewole stated.

Meanwhile, Senate President Bukola Saraki has warned that the spate of drug abuse in Nigeria will become catastrophic if left unchecked.


NAFDAC Reacts to False Statement

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has denied reports that 70 per cent of drugs in the country are fake and described such information as false and misleading.

NAFDAC spokesperson Abubakar Jimoh while reacting on the report on Sunday in Abuja said the statement from the acclaimed expert was displeasing and false.

Jimoh said that the report was just a mare statement without referring it to a particular study or research work.

Mr Andrew Nevin, an Economist and Financial Services Advisory Leader of Project Blue PWc Nigeria in a key note address at a conference by Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in Umuahia recently said 70 per cent of drugs in Nigeria are fake.

Nevin also stated that Africa records 100,000 deaths arising from counterfeit drugs related ailments annually.

Jimoh explained that the fight against counterfeit drugs had been heightened from 2001 to date and had led to a drastic reduction in fake drugs in the market.

He said that in 2001, when this kind of report appeared in public, the agency conduct a systematic study and in 2005, NAFDAC in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) did another research.

He disclosed that the study done with WHO showed that the prevalence of counterfeit drugs in circulation was 16.7 per cent for all categories of drugs.

According to him, the agency puts a lot of efforts to fight counterfeiters by introducing TruScan machine in 2010 to detect fake drugs in the market.

The Spokesperson noted that another research conducted in 2012 indicated that the prevalence of counterfeit medicines in circulation in the country had gone down to 6.4 per cent.

He said that the same year, a separate research by the agency on anti malaria drugs which Nigerians consume more showed counterfeited ones have dropped to 19.6 per cent.

He stated that the 2011 WHO’s study revealed that there was 20 per cent fake drugs in Africa which the result was almost the same with that of NAFDAC conducted in 2012.

Jimoh added that in 2014 the result of a study by NAFDAC in conjunction with United State of Pharmacopia (USP) showed that the country only had 3.6 per cent of fake anti malaria drugs in the market.

He said that the result of a research work on fake drugs between his agency and USP conducted in 2017 were being awaited.

“The counterfeiters in the country engage more in anti malaria drugs because they know the patronage is high and with awareness created and introduction of various devices by NAFDAC, we have been able to reduce such counterfeit malaria drugs drastically.

“Getting such unresearched work from acclaimed expert undermines our efforts, it is unfortunate and very painful,” he said.

He said that NAFDAC remained committed and determined to fight counterfeit drugs in the country. (NAN)

NAFDAC: N11.5m Expired Drugs Destroyed In Niger

Ministry of Health and Hospital Services in Niger State say it has, in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, destroyed expired drugs worth N11.5m.

Dr. Mohammed Makunsidi, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, who disclosed this to journalists, explained that some of the destroyed drugs had been in the stores of various health facilities in the state for over 10 years.

According to him, the destroyed drugs included expired HIV and Tuberculosis drugs as well as hand sanitizers among others.

Makunsidi, who was represented by the Director of Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Muhammad Ndagi, said the drugs and consumables with short expiry dates were brought to the state by partners for national programmes.

He said, “As a responsible government, the expired drugs and consumables were being destroyed to safeguard public health by preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.”

The permanent secretary explained that the National Drugs Policy and the National Drug Distribution Guideline both prescribed that every state must have a drug distribution centre as a solution to the problems in the health commodities and supply chain management.

He noted that since the establishment of the Niger State Drugs and Hospital Consumables Management Agency, the activities at the central medical store had tremendously increased.

While commending the state government for its commitment to the provision of necessary funds for the smooth running of the agency, he gave the assurance that the agency would ensure the orderly and systematic supply of genuine drugs and consumables to all the health facilities across the 25 local government areas of the state.

Makunsidi also disclosed that the coming of the Logistics Management Coordination Unit which is domiciled at the Central Medical Store would enhance data collection and information sharing among various health facilities and agencies.

The state zonal coordinator of NAFDAC, Mr. Anikoh Ibrahim, admonished the management staff of the ministry and its agencies to be proactive in the discharge of their duties.

Ibrahim, who expressed dissatisfaction that the drugs were kept for a long time, queried why they were not distributed to health care facilities for the people to use.

He advised the ministry to always reject drugs and consumables with short expiry date

Distress In NAFDAC As DG Sticks To Office

There was an uproar yesterday at the National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over the continued stay in office of its Acting Director General (DG), Mrs. Yetunde Oni.

Mrs. Oni, who is presently out of the country, was due to have bowed out of office yesterday, after clocking 60 years.

Referring to an internal memo dated 2010, the acting DG, who hails from Ogun State, was born on September 21, 1957.

The mandatory retirement age for a civil servant is 60 years.

She has been on acting capacity since February last year when President Muhammadu Buhari sent packing heads and boards of agencies under the Ministry of Health.

The President had since appointed substantive heads for the other agencies. Mrs. Oni is still holding forth in NAFDAC, even after reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Besides, the government is yet to extend her stay, which has prompted some grumbling among workers.

“Mrs. Oni does not seem to be stepping down and this may likely pitch the workers against the management of the agency”.

She had already scheduled a management meeting for September 29 – three days after her expected return to the country.

Already, workers are becoming agitated on the situation in the agency.

According to findings, some of the workers are planning to disrupt activities at the agency, if the acting DG fails to do the needful.

The workers were also concerned about who would take over from her pending the time the government will appoint a substantive director-general.

A source in the agency noted that the acting DG proceeded on a foreign trip, hen she knew she was due for retirement.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, noted that “matter was even made worse as she is out of the country for a seminar or conference when she knew that by law, she was supposed to have proceeded on retirement leave.

“To make matters worse, the director she handed over to before embarking on her foreign trip is not the most senior in the agency.”

According to her memo to the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS), Mr. Adebayo Babatunde Samson, a copy which was obtained by our correspondent, the Acting Director-General stated: “I will be out on official assignment from 18th-26th September 2017. During the period of my absence, you will act for me and therefore cover my duties.

“You are authorised to sign all cheques and approve requests for payment for which I had earlier given approval. This also applies to all approvals given by the Honourable Minister, the President and other relevant authorities.

“You are also to approve new requests for payment for all utility bills and others not exceeding the sum of N2.5 million in line with extant rules.”

An attempt to get a reaction from the agency’s spokesperson, Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, on the true situation of things concerning the acting DG met a brick wall.

Jimoh preferred to speak on the activities of the agency, which, he said, made a huge seizure of counterfeit products and some arrests.

NAFDAC Sets To End Production Of Substandard Package Water

The National Agency of Food, Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it is intensifying efforts to end production of substandard packaged water flooding markets.

Mr Natim Mullah-Dadi, the Kaduna State Coordinator of NAFDAC, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna.

He said that the agency would not allow some unscrupulous elements toy with the health of Nigerians under whatever pretext.

“We have observed how package water has flooded the markets with many disregarding basic good manufacturing practices required to guarantee the quality of their products.

“Those who decide to breach standard would not be allowed to toy with the health of the consumers simply because they can fill water into a sachet, package and sell.

“We have observed a number of violations in the production of package water, especially in recent times.

“It ranged from production in unhygienic conditions, poor building plans, non-use of qualified personnel and submission of doctored and fake documents.

“Also, the use of substandard equipment, lack of equipment maintenance, inappropriate labelling of products, sourcing raw water from shallow wells were identified as part of the problem.”

The NAFDAC coordinator said the agency was collaborating with the Association of Table Water Producers of Nigeria in the state to fish out illegal and unlicensed water producers.

Mullah-Dadi assured that the partnership would be sustained for the greater good of water consumers in the state

He however urged residents not to patronise packaged water without NAFDAC number and date.

The coordinator also said all packaged water remain only fit for consumption within two months of production.

No GMO Product Licensed By NAFDAC – Official

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has not licensed any Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) based products in the country.

The NAFDAC Spokesperson, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja while reacting on speculation that the products have flooded some markets in Nigeria.

Jimoh explained that the agency had not given any approval for GMO foods in the country.

He said that if any was found in any departmental store or supermarket, such was selling illegally without the consent of NAFDAC.

According to him, the Federal Government has created a new agency to regulate GMO based products and the organisation had visited NAFDAC to seek for cooperation.

“Hope you are aware that government created an agency recently purposely to regulate GMOs and the agency met with us.

“We asked them to be in the driver’s seat while we work with them, and they told us that they also had not given any approval for GMO products.

“Anybody that has any evidence of the presence of GMO-based products in the country should report to NAFDAC,” he said.

The spokesperson noted that NAFDAC works in partnership with agencies nationally and internationally on any regulated products within its purview.

He said that apart from GMO products that the federal government directed NAFDAC to work with Customs to monitor sometimes back, the agency has always been partnering with relevant organisations in all its regulated products.

Jimoh disclosed that NAFDAC was also in collaboration with Nigeria Customs Service to drive federal government’s policy on economic diversification to ensure self-sufficiency in rice production to stop the reckless importation of rice to the country.

2 Containers Of Restricted Drugs Handed Over To NAFDAC

On Tuesday the Nigerian Customs Service handed over 2 containers of pirated films and restricted drugs to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that the two containers are laden with Augmentin 625mg, pirated films and Laclox, a restricted drug that is injurious to people.

Comptroller Lami Wushishi, the Customs Area Controller, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, handed over the consignments to NAFDAC at the premises of the command saying that the two containers marked PCIU 829442-6 and MRKU 416397-2 originated from China.

“The pharmaceutical products are restricted drugs by NAFDAC and the Customs and Excise Management Act Cap. C45 LFN 2004, Section 167(2) directs that such consignment should be disposed off in such a manner as deemed appropriate.

“Therefore, the consignment is handed over to the appropriate agency within the country for proper disposal,” Wushishi said.

She urged stakeholders at the ports to honestly declare the goods they import as this forms the basis for trade data and analysis that directs operational decision with consequences on the economy as well as national security.

Wushishi said that the command would continue to cooperate with other sister agencies to enforce compliance with fiscal policies while promoting trade facilitation.

She pledged the commitment of officers and men of the command to support the Comptroller-General of Customs’ agenda to facilitate trade and remain responsive to the yearnings of Nigerians.

Wushishi urged NAFDAC to engage the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on the intercepted pirated CD films.



NAFDAC Waives 50% on Registration Fee of SMEs

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has waived 50 per cent on registration fee for locally manufactured products to promote Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

The NAFDAC spokesperson, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday that the measure would go a long way to promote economic development.

Jimoh explained that it was a new policy of the agency under the leadership of its acting Director-General, Mrs Yetunde Oni.

He said that the measure was in response to Federal Government’s policy to promote locally manufactured companies in order to boost the economy of the country.

Jimoh said that in the past, a lot of people and some licensed consultants had extorted money from innocent Nigerians in the name of NAFDAC registration.

“Sometime back, we discovered that a lot of people were extorting money from Nigerians for registration fee of products. We decided to license some consultants who are professionals.

“But those unscrupulous elements fizzled into the consultancy firm that registered with us and continued their extortion from potential entrepreneurs.

“They collect as much N250,000 to N300,000 for registration of less than N50,000, claiming that part of the money will be used to settle NAFDAC officials.

“The agency has taken decision to stop them after the expiration of their licenses; we will stop them and deal directly with intending manufacturers,” he said.

Jimoh explained that in the last seven years, the former NAFDAC director-general, Dr Paul Ohi, introduced a policy that all young graduates willing to establish businesses would be given waiver.

He said that the policy was still in existence but young graduates from NYSC were not taking such advantage.

The spokesperson noted that NAFDAC recently established a Small Business Desk to guide people going into SMEs on how to set up their small factories.


La Casera Apple Drink With New Flavor And Endorsement Brand

L-R: Managing Director, The La Casera Company (TLCC) PLC, Mr. Roland Ebelt; Deputy director Codex, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Dr Omolara Okunlola ; Drector Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mr Joseph Emoleke; Head of Food Codex, SON, Mrs Emordi Helen and Director TLCC, Mr Bayo Adeleke at the La Casera Apple Drink wears fresh new look  launch event in Lagos.

The La Casera Company Plc, makers of Nigeria’s leading Apple Carbonated Soft Drink has launched a fresh new look for its flagship brand, La Casera Apple Drink and adding more natural apple juice extract to the premium apple drink, which makes it the only Apple CSD with real apple juice extract in the Nigerian market.

The unveiling event held at the prestigious Oriental Hotel in Lagos to celebrate its dealers, consumers and other stakeholders for their loyalty, received several commendations from NAFDAC, SON, MAN, dealers and other relevant stakeholders that were present at the event reinforcing La Casera leadership in the CSD market.

According to the Managing Director, The La Casera Company (TLCC), Mr. Roland Ebelt, the launch of the repackaged La Casera Apple drink is a display of the company’s innovative, forward-thinking prowess and commitment to consumers’ satisfaction.

“La Casera Apple Drink in 50cl bottle which still remains the standard and quality which La Casera is known for, now wears a new colourful and attractive look with real apple fruit indicating an increase in real apple juice content in each bottle giving consumers more taste of real apple at an affordable price just to meet the thirst need of the average Nigerian who is always on the go.” he explained.

While delivering the welcome address, The Marketing Manager, The La Casera Company Plc. (TLCC), Mr. Bello Yusuf explained that the Nigerian CSD market commands a unique hold in the beverage sector of the economy with an estimated 49% of soft drinks volume sales and with the fresh new look of La Casera Apple drink, the company is set to make greater inroad into the market, as it now comes with more apple juice, combined with a refreshing and real apple taste.

 “Sixteen years down the line, the dynamics of the CSD market are not the same. Today, we have come to witness the rebirth of our flagship brand La Casera Apple Drink.So with the unveiling of the fresh new look of our flagship brand La Casera Apple drink, we are appreciating our teeming Consumers who have been supporting the brand for over 16 years. We thank these loyal consumers because without them we would not have achieved anything. The brand will continue doing its best to offer Nigerians the best apple drink in Sub Saharan African.” Bello said.

NAFDAC Destroys N30b Fake Products In Three Years- DG

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says the agency has destroyed fake products worth N30 billion during the last three years across the country, adding that the agency was seriously pushing for a life sentence for drug counterfeiters at the National Assembly.

Acting Director-General of the agency, Yetunde Oni, stated this in Lafia, during the agency’s joint destruction exercise of drugs/unwholesome products destruction by Benue/Nasarawa states.

She, however, lamented that despite laudable efforts made by the agency such as destroying fake products worth N30 Billion in the last three years, counterfeiters continue to adopt different strategies to evade arrest and enjoy proceeds of their corrupt practices.

Director of Special Duties of NAFDAC Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, who represented the acting DG at the occasion said the periodic destruction exercise was one of the NAFDAC strategies to prevent circulation of fake, counterfeit medicines and unwholesome products in the country.

Jimoh said that some of the products earmarked for destruction were voluntarily submitted to NAFDAC by various governmental and non-governmental organizations whilst others were mopped up from open market via enforcement activities and Surveillance systems of NAFDAC.

“For us in NAFDAC, zero tolerance is what we are yearning for, a lot of damage is been done by counterfeit drugs. A drug counterfeiter is worst than an armed robber. That is why we are pushing for a life sentence for drug counterfeiters at the National Assembly

“We are optimistic that in the near future, we would have nothing or little to destroy as we work towards ensuring availability of good quality, efficacious, safe and affordable medicines and wholesome regulated products to the Nigerian populace,” She said

Speaking earlier, Nasarawa State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Michael Ali Attah, told newsmen at the destruction site that the product being destroyed jointly (Benue/Nasarwa) is worth N105 million ,adding that 80 per cent of the unwholesome products are from Benue state.

According to him “This is a proof and a clear testimony that NAFDAC is working, and leaving no stone unturned until the manufacturers/dealers of these spurious, substandard, fake and counterfeit NAFDAC regulated products, stop toiling with lives of Nigerians, in the name of making money give up their evil and wicked ways and submit to the authority of NAFDAC and to the laws of this great nation”

He further explained that the exercise is a message and a signal to all and sundry who are manufacturing/importing any NAFDAC regulated products: food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals etc that are substandard, fake or counterfeit, to desist from such activities or face the music, adding that the agency is fully awake, active and combing all nook and crannies of the state and the nation at large, to safeguard the health of Nigerians.

Source: Sun News

NAFDAC Saves Lives By Confiscating Expired Products Worth Millions

The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has confiscated fake and expired foods, drugs, cosmetics and other products worth N15million in Nasarawa State. Mr Michael Attah, the Coordinator of the Agency in the state, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lafia that the products were confiscated from January to date.

Attah said that most of the products were mopped up during routine checks at shops and pharmacies across the state. He added that some expired products, especially drugs, were voluntarily submitted by individuals.

“Last week, the owner of a particular pharmaceutical shop submitted drugs worth about N5 million to us for destruction.

“We commended this gesture and urged other spirited Nigerians to emulate,’’ he said.