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.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole 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.
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 Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has been directed to continue enforcement activities at Pharmacies, Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendor’s Shops and outlets throughout the country.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control [NAFDAC] was also directed to fully carry out its functions among others: to 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 Minister stated that the FMOH 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.
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 healthcare delivery system in the country,’ Adewole stated.
He stated that Civil Society Organizations shall be strengthened to deliver effective sensitization, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services.
Recalled that in view of the serious public health concerns drugs abuse poses to Nigerians, a working group which comprised of experts from various Ministries, Agencies of Government (including regulatory agencies), Development Partners and Associations was constituted in January and tagged Codeine Control and other Related Matters Working Group (CCRWG).
The CCRWG was formally inaugurated on January 23, 2018, with clear Terms of Reference of developing key recommendations and strategies to address the menace of codeine, tramadol and other related substances in Nigeria.
The CCRWG submitted its interim report on April 12, 2018, and recommended short-, medium- and long-term measures for implementation in a memorandum submitted to the Minister, today, 1st of May 2018.
Finally, Professor Adewole restated the commitment of FGN to ensure the full implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG) by January 01, 2019 and closure of all open drug markets penultimate the implementation date of the NDDG that is, December 31, 2018. It is a public knowledge that easy access to codeine, tramadol and other substances of abuse is promoted by the chaotic drug distribution system. (New Telegraph)
A delivery driver has been jailed for life for stabbing a French tourist to death in an unprovoked and random attack.
Nicholas Foy, 39, had snorted 4.5grams of cocaine in a 24-hour drink and drugs session before running up to Laurent Volpe, 49, who was on his way to visit family.
Foy, wearing only a pair of pink shorts, plunged a large kitchen knife into Mr. Folpe’s stomach, passing through his liver. He then turned on witnesses shouting “Do you want some?” following the senseless and motiveless attack in Eltham, south east London last August.
Prosecutor Susanne Alavi said: “Laurent Volpe was on his way to see his family and happened to walk past Foy who indiscriminately selected him as his victim.
“During his trial, Foy blamed his behaviour on the sheer amount of drink and drugs he had consumed. However, he conceded that when he combined these substances, he could not control his violent and aggressive temper.
“Yet he chose to take this dangerous cocktail before stabbing Mr. Volpe to death.
“This was a callous and, in the event, unsuccessful way of seeking to absolve himself of responsibility.
“I would like to thank the many witnesses, including Mr. Volpe’s family, who came forward and gave evidence in court.
“I hope this sentence provides some comfort for them and Mr. Volpe’s friends. Our thoughts are with them.”
Mr Volpe, who was on a two-week holiday with his wife Cecile Chapais and their two children, collapsed at the scene in Eltham, south east London shortly before 7pm on August 11 last year.
Mr Volpe, an accomplished triathlete from the south of France, had spent the day sightseeing with his family.
They returned to Eltham, where they were staying through a house swap and Mr. Volpe popped to a nearby Co-op to get food. But on his way back, he bumped into dad of three, Foy.
When police arrived, Foy punched an officer before he was Tasered and arrested. And as he was taken to hospital for treatment to self-inflicted knife wounds to his foot, he headbutted another officer and had to be sedated by medical staff.
Paramedics took Mr. Volpe to Kings College Hospital in a critical condition but died three days later despite having a liver transplant.
Foy admitted manslaughter, claiming a lack of intent, but denied murder. He was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey on Monday, and jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years.
In the days before the attack Foy, who suffers depression, had not taken his medication, and chose to self-medicate with cocaine and alcohol instead, the judge said.
He had drunk five pints of lager, a litre of Jack Daniels whiskey and rum, and taken up to four-and-a-half grams of cocaine before leaving the house at 6.45pm.
Judge Sarah Munro QC said: “You took with you a large kitchen knife, going back and forward across the road to gouge your foot, believing there was a bomb.
“You had spent the previous evening, night and morning of the 11th of August filling yourself with alcohol and cocaine.
“You took all that, knowing the combination could make you angry, paranoid, aggressive and violent.
“You have a longstanding history of drink and drug abuse. You started taking cocaine aged 17, and took the drug daily until 2013.
“You also told the jury you have had a problem with alcohol for two years. Your records suggest it was a lot longer.”