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FG bans importation of codeine due to gross abuse

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

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who gave the directive in a statement, said it became necessary due to the gross abuse of codeine in the country.

The Minister said cough syrups containing Codeine should be replaced with dextromethorphan, which is less addictive.

He also directed the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, PCN and NAFDAC to supervise the recall for labeling and audit trailing of all codeine-containing cough syrups in the country, while he has also banned sales of Codeine-containing cough syrup without prescription across the country.

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

The PCN has been directed to continue enforcement activities at Pharmacies, Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendor’s Shops and outlets throughout the country.

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