#NoCodeine: FG places restrictions on cough syrup sales

by Adeniyi Abdul

The Federal Government has announced an embargo on the sale of codeine based cough syrups to people without doctor’s prescriptions. This is apparently due to concerns over increasing abuse of codeine.

NAFDAC Directorate of Narcotics and Control Substances, Mr. Hashim Yusufu had spoken about the issue in 2010, saying it was a common practice in universities. “Codeine, especially in popular cough mixtures have become the most abuse medicine by young Nigerians.” he said. “It is most common among those in the universities. NAFDAC currently approves only 4,000 kilograms of the substance for use per time among all Nigerian drug companies producing locally, but smuggling and spurious activities of some Nigerian business men has continued to provide loop holes for regulation.”

“Whatever decision we take would be guided by a scientific procedure to be determined by the scientists being consulted.” Yusufu said 2 years ago.

It would however seem a conclusion has been reached as Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who fielded questions from newsmen in Otukpo, Benue State stated that rising cases of abuse had led to stricter law being put in place.

“In recent time, we have been confronted with rising cases of young persons and women abusing some cough syrups, especially codeine, to get high, which is known for it’s efficacy in the treatment of cough.” he said.

The decision to curb its wide usage is a controversial one, Codeine, after all, is one of the most widely used pain relievers in the world today.

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