The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has directed
the National Agency for Food, 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.
He made this directive known on Tuesday in his office in
According to him, the directive became necessary due to
the gross abuse Codeine usage has been subjected to in the
In its stead, the Minister said codeine containing cough
syrups containing 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
He said: “We had an emergency meeting with NAFDAC and
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.
“NAFDAC was directed to fully 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.
“The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) was also
directed to continue enforcement activities on Pharmacies,
Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendor’s Shops and outlets
throughout the country.
“The Federal Ministry of Health shall ensure collaboration
among regulatory agencies namely, NAFDAC, PCN, National
Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nursing and
Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), for effective
implementation of extant Acts, regulations, policies and
guidelines on codeine control and usage.
“Furthermore, these agencies shall work together to increase
pharmacovigilance around codeine, tramadol and other
related substances of abuse,’ Adewole stated.
“Already, NAFDAC has developed IEC materials that will be
used in an already planned national campaign against drug
abuse, an awareness programme that includes Young
Pharmacists Group of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
This will soon be flagged off in Kano and Lagos.”
Adewole added that as a way of discouraging youths to shun
the drugs, the Federal Government through Federal Ministry
of Health shall partner with National Orientation Agency
(NOA), Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Football
celebrities, members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria,
Performing Musicians of Nigeria and other celebrities to
drive national campaign against drug abuse.
“The FMOH shall ensure that Drug treatment intervention for
victims of substances abuse shall be undertaken across the
spectrum of health