Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, revealed, yesterday, that the agency has seized not fewer than 35 containers of tramadol at various ports in the country.
Prof. Adeyeye who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja said nine out of the seized containers were released to NAFDAC by the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS).
“We are seriously working with the Custom on this and each time they seize any container, they usually invite us to come and see the containers with tramadol.
“So far, 35 containers were seized and only nine of them have been handed over to NAFDAC which we have destroyed,” she said.
She, however, decried the delay by the NCS in handing over the rest of the containers to her agency.
The NAFDAC boss stated that tramadol was a restricted drug but had been abused by Nigerian youths who use it without prescription.
According to the professor of pharmacology, the drug destroys children’s brain thereby threatening the future generation of the nation.
She lauded the present administration for placing an embargo on codeine, which she said, like tramadol, should only be given only by prescription as done in advanced country.
The DG said the agency was more determined and committed than ever to stem the menace of illicit and fake drugs in the country.
In May, FG banned production of codeine containing syrups in Nigeria and directed NAFDAC to ban with immediate effect further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole whomade the directive known on Tuesday in Abuja, said it became necessary due to the gross abuse Codeine usage has been subjected to. 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 while he also banned sales of Codeine containing cough syrup without prescription across the country.