The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration & Control has shut down Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited for alleged involvement in codeine cough syrup supply and distribution.
The pharmaceutical firms are linked to illicit supply and distribution of codeine, containing cough syrup in the documentary of an undercover investigation unveiled recently by BBC Africa.
The action, according to NAFDAC was taken following findings from investigations and inspections at the affected companies.
“Due to insufficient evidence gathered and apparent resistance to provide needed documents during our inspection on May 2, 2018, at the respective companies in Ilorin and Lagos, respectively, it has become necessary to shut down all the product lines of the three companies – Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited, plots 3 and 8, Adewole Industrial Estate, Lubcon Avenue, Ilorin, Kwara State; Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited, 405 Kaima Road, Ilorin, Kwara State and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited, Ajao Estate, Lagos.
This is to allow for a full and comprehensive investigation. The three companies, therefore, remain closed.
“The reopening of the manufacturing companies will depend on the level of cooperation that is shown during the comprehensive investigation,” said NAFDAC in a statement.
NAFDAC further said its director general Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, had constituted a task force to be made up of NAFDAC directors in charge of – registration and regulatory affairs; narcotics and controlled substances; and drug evaluation and research.
Members of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) in the committee included the Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, Fidson Healthcare; May & Baker PLC; and Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries.
“A team of nine NAFDAC officers (two from Drug and Evaluation Research and seven from Investigation and Enforcement) and ten mobile police officers were sent to Ilorin, Kwara state on May 2 2018 to carry out investigational inspection at the companies of the two different pharmaceutical companies that are licensed to manufacture codeine-containing syrup, and which were implicated in the BBC documentary.
“The same investigational inspection by a different NAFDAC team took place on the same day and time as the Ilorin companies at the manufacturing facility of Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd., Ajao Estate, Lagos.
“The focus of the assignment was to access and monitor from records the utilization, sales and effective distribution of the codeine containing cough syrups to the end users.
“Meanwhile, meeting of the stakeholders mentioned above is being planned while the shut down and full investigation,” said NAFDAC.