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 an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations.
Isaac Adewole, the minister of health, made this known in his office in Abuja on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.
He said that the directive became necessary due to the gross abuse codeine usage has been subjected to in the country, especially in Northern Nigeria.
In its stead, the minister said codeine-containing cough syrups 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 labelling 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.
He noted that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control had an emergency meeting with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group, PMGMAN, 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 on pharmacies, patent and proprietary medicine vendors’ shops and outlets throughout the country.