I am deeply saddened by problem of drug abuse, says Emzor CEO


* Reiterates commitment to affordable medicines
Concerned about its damaging effects on the youths and children, the Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited, Lagos, Dr. Stella Okoli, has expressed worry over the problem of drug abuse in the country.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Sunday on the reopening of one of her company’s factories, which was recently shutdown by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) , Okoli said tackling the problem of drug abuse required a multi-sectoral approach.

Expressing delight over the reopening of her factory, Okoli said: “We are happy to announce that after carrying out all necessary due diligence, NAFDAC has now reopened the factory.”

NAFDAC had on Saturday lifted the shutdown order on Emzor Pharmaceuticals’ factory and two other comapanies; Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited and Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited in Ilorin, Kwara State which were shutdown over the codeine syrup crisis.

Okoli, who reiterated her company’s commitment to affordable medicines in the country, said she was not happy with the increasing cases of drug abuse among the youths while urging all stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to unite against the menace.

She said: “As a parent and especially a mother, I am deeply saddened by the problem of drug abuse and its damaging effect on our children and youths. Even more painful is the fact that a genuine therapeutic product, made for the relief of a specific illness, has been turned into a substance of abuse.

“We commend the Federal Government and the relevant agencies and NAFDAC for their prompt response to what is a serious matter of deep concern to all Nigerians. We also commend the Federal Ministry of Health for their prompt response as all Nigerians called for action towards controlling the situation.

“NAFDAC, after its necessary inspections, is satisfied that our manufacturing processes conform to all laid down procedure and we are a fully compliant company. Our company has been consistently compliant and we have valid Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certifications.”

Okoli noted that the loyalty by Nigerians for Emzor’s brands in the past 30 years has shown that the company was contributing immensely to the health of the people, adding that the pharmaceutical firm would consistently deliver time-valued quality products and services to the delight of the citizens.

She explained: “At Emzor, we are committed to making unlimited wellness available to all Nigerians, through our range of more than 120 high quality healthcare products, which are all duly approved by NAFDAC. For more than 30 years, Nigerians have trusted our brand name, which stands for quality and reliability.

“This trust we have earned, through unrelenting hard work and commitment to the highest standards and best practices in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The events of these past two weeks have only served to further strengthen that commitment.”

The Federal Ministry of Health had recently directed NAFDAC to ban with immediate effect further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations due to the gross abuse of codeine in the country.

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