Following a troubling encounter with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) a few weeks ago after one of its senior sales managers was indicted in the BBC documentary ‘Sweet Sweet Codeine’ – an in-depth investigative series which showed the company’s drug supply chain had been severely compromised and was hemorrhaging drugs into the open market and into the hands of addicts and underage users, the management of Emzor Pharmaceuticals has stated its commitment to support the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts in the country.
Emzor’s management was quick to distance itself from the manager, relieving him of his duties and accepting whatever sanctions NAFDAC decided was appropriate to the situation.
Speaking on its rehabilitation drive, Emzor’s Managing Director Mrs Stella Okoli on Sunday, in Lagos, represented by Uzoma Ezeoke the company’s Executive Director, said “Emzor will seek to make relevant and impactful contributions to the multi-agency discussions on the way forward that are sure to follow in days and months ahead. 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.”
This decision by Emzor is highly commendable and a good way to approach the government’s decision to shut down its production line in the wake of the codeine controversy.
It is important to note that codeine was manufactured as a cough syrup but was abused by unscrupulous individuals in the country. Emzor did not have to wait until its hand was forced before it addressed the growing codeine epidemic. Before the BBC documentary was aired, several newspapers had written editorials on the menace of hard drugs most especially codeine, a situation Emzor couldn’t have denied not being aware of. Emzor’s actions in light of this, are almost too little, too late.
However, the step is a welcome development as it will help in rebranding its image and also preserve the company as a major employer of labour in the pharmaceutical sector with a continuous contribution to the nation’s health sector.