A BBC documentary titled “Sweet Sweet Codeine” recently exposed the problem of codeine addiction amongst Nigerian youths and the drug dealers that fuel this addiction. In the documentary, a sales representative of Emzor Pharmaceuticals was caught on camera illegally selling codeine to the BBC’s undercover reporter and boasting about how the drugs that he was supplying them were “straight from the oven”.
Emzor Pharmaceuticals has now released a statement about the documentary.
Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
Emzor Pharmaceuticals is a responsible and ethical company with over 120 lines including Emzolyn with Codeine under licence from NAFDAC. Emzor is treating the findings of the BBC documentary with the upmost seriousness and has launched a full and through investigation. Emzor adheres fully to the documentation guidelines for the handling, production, storing and distribution of products containing codeine.
Our staff are trained on the controlled status of codeine and codeine products and supply guidelines. Emzor is not involved in the direct sales to individual members of the public. Emzor does not sanction the supply of Emzolyn with Codeine in any way that breaches the Dangerous Drugs Act or NAFDAC guidelines. Emzor’s daily production is below 0.5% of the reported estimated daily amounts of codeine reportedly consumed in Kano and Jigawa States. The Sales Rep depicted in the BBC video was initially placed on suspension and has now been summarily dismissed following an investigation. Any representations made by the Sales Rep are in breach of company policy and ethics and were undertaken independently by him.
The distribution of Emzolyn with Codeine has been suspended pending the results of a full and thorough internal investigation. We hope the findings of the documentary will shed further light on the extent and impact of the illicit trade and consumption of codeine. We hope that full stakeholder engagement will result in impactful action against the abuse, smuggling and faking of drugs on the continent.