Nigeria: Pharmaceutical Firms Panic Over Codeine Distribution Shocker

Sudan: U.S. Delegation of World Commission On Religious Freedom Visits Human Rights Commission

Ilorin — Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, is said to be among cities in Nigeria with highest number of pharmaceutical companies producing a wide range of drugs. But two of the leading pharmaceutical firms located in Ilorin, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited and Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Company were most-affected.

One of the pharmaceutical companies mentioned in a BBC documentary video on codeine production and distribution in Nigeria, Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited, Ilorin, said it has suspended the store man shown in the video with immediate effect. Managing Director, Mr. Rahman Jimoh Bioku, said so in Ilorin yesterday. He added that the store man would be eventually sacked if found guilty, and added that the staff does not have any control on sales and distribution of any of its 58 NAFDAC-approved products.

Bioku also said that the sales rep showed in the BBC documentary had been suspended from the company since May 2016, adding that he was finally disengaged in August same year. "Even when he was here with us, he was not allowed to handle cough syrup with codeine. Watching through the video clips, I saw in him a desperate marketer wanting to make big money from people he thought were big businessmen. Any representations made by the former sales rep and the store man shown in the video are not in line with the thinking, policy, ethical rules and regulations of Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited," he said.

Bioku also said the company had placed an embargo on sales of Biolin Cough Syrup With Codeine pending outcome of its investigation, adding that it would comply with Federal Government directive to ban further issuance of permits for importation of codeine phosphate as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough syrup preparation to tame abuse of such drugs.

Bioku, who said that the company had not sold codeine-containing preparation to unauthorized person or premises, added that its distributors and wholesalers were duly registered with Pharmacist Council of Nigeria. "None of our sales representatives has authority to take order or supply Biolin to customers," he said.

At Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Company, efforts to speak to management proved unsuccessful as it appeared security arrangement put in place in the places had prior directive to deny press interaction. Also, a member of staff of the company who requested anonymity said the management is still meeting to decide on the next move.

During the visit there, a company security personnel said that top management staff were not available to talk with press. At the pharmacy, located at Adewole Industrial Estate, Ilorin, a private security personnel at the reception said only the director of the company could speak, and that he was in a meeting.

A glimpse into the premises of the Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Company showed a neat environment, with three trucks parked.


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Publish date : 2018-05-05 18:21:21
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