Codeine: Emzor to support treatment, rehabilitation of drug addicts

The management of Emzor Pharmaceutical Company on Sunday said it would support the federal government in the rehabilitation and treatment of persons affected by drug addiction.

The company also expressed delight at the decision of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, (NAFDAC), to re-open the company’s production line which had earlier been shut.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the company’s Group Managing Director, Stella Okoli, noted that the development was a good one.

The regulatory body had in the wake of criticism generated after the broadcast of a BBC documentary that exposed the dangers of widespread abuse of codeine syrups among Nigerians shut the company’s factory.

The documentary, which drew reaction from many Nigerians, exposed how an official of the pharmaceutical company corruptly enriches himself through illegal supply of one of the company’s addictive drug, Emzolyn with Codeine.

Apart from the company, two other pharmaceutical companies were indicted and exposed in the documentary. NAFDAC promptly announced that the company had been shut.

But shortly after the company’s production line was shut down, NAFDAC announced that it had reversed the decision and reopened the factory.

Speaking on Sunday, Uzoma Ezeoke, the company’s Executive Director, General Duties, said the factory was reopened after the agency carried out all necessary due diligence.

The company also promised to help in the rehabilitation of affected people.

“Emzor will seek to make relevant and impactful contributions to the multi-agency discussions on the way forward that are sure to follow in the days and months ahead,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

“From the limited depiction of rehabilitation efforts represented in the BBC programme, there is room for much support and improvement in the treatment and rehabilitation of persons affected by addiction.”

Emzor said it commended the Nigerian government and the relevant agencies and NAFDAC for their prompt response to what is “a serious matter of deep concern to all Nigerians”.

“We also commend the Federal Ministry of Health for their prompt response as all Nigerians called for action towards controlling the situation.

“NAFDAC, after their inspections are satisfied that our manufacturing processes conform to all laid down procedure and we are a fully compliant company. Our company has been consistently compliant and we have valid Good Manufacturing Practice certifications.

“This trust we have earned, through unrelenting hard work and commitment to the highest standards and best practices in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The events of these past two weeks have only served to further strengthen that commitment,” it said.

“Emzor believes in developing our youth through the Chike Okoli Foundation which was established in 2006 to promote healthy lifestyles and entrepreneurship, we have trained, influenced and touched the lives of millions of youth many of whom have graduated from the foundation’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and are now running their own businesses,” it added.


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