NAFDAC Destroys Banned Tramadol, Codeine Worth Over N3.5 Billion

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday, has destroyed 13 containers of banned and unregistered tramadol, codeine and other counterfeit medicines worth over N 3.5 Billion, during a destruction exercise conducted at the Okediya Dump Site, Sagamu, Ogun State.

Notable among the witnesses of the destruction exercise were: the First Lady of Ogun State, Dr Olufunso Amosu, who was accompanied with her entourage to the dump site; Director General, NAFDAC, Professor Moji Christianah  Adeyeye; Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Olatunde Ipaye; Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bolaji Oyeleye; Director of Investigation and Enforcement, NAFDAC, Bar. Kingsley Ejiofor; Director, Registration and Regulatory Affairs, NAFDAC, Dr Monica Eimunjeze; Representatives of NDLEA, the Police Command; and others.

NAFDAC Destroys Banned Tramadol, Codeine Worth Over N3.5 Billion
L-R: Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Olatunde Ipaye; First Lady of Ogun State, Dr Olufunso Amosu; Director General, NAFDAC, Professor Moji Christianah Adeyeye; Director of Investigation and Enforcement, NAFDAC, Bar. Kingsley Ejiofor; and Director, Registration and Regulatory Affairs, NAFDAC, Dr Monica Eimunjeze, during the inspection of sampled drugs for destruction at the dump site.

Speaking during the exercise, the NAFDAG DG noted that the destruction of the banned drugs showed NAFDAC’s zero tolerance for the circulation of narcotics, substandard, falsified and other unsafe and unwholesome regulated products into the country.

According to her:”The products being destroyed today are made up of tramadol, codeine, illegally imported unwholesome sugar (different brands) and counterfeit medicines. Also included are damaged and expired NAFDAC regulated products, voluntarily submitted to the Agency by compliant companies.

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Dignitaries at the dump site, heading towards the point to set the drugs ablaze.

“The total street value of the products being destroyed is about three billion, five hundred and eight million, five hundred and fifty thousand, seven hundred and sixty-two naira. And street value of tramadol that is being destroyed today is estimated to be N1, 708,750,000”, she stated.

The NAFDAG DG, who called for stiffer penalties for smugglers of regulated drugs into the country, said thirteen containers of banned and unregulated tramadol and diclofenac released to the Agency by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) were scheduled for destruction at the site.

NAFDAC Destroys Banned Tramadol, Codeine Worth over N 3.5 Billion
Some of the banned drugs that were destroyed

“The total street value of the products being destroyed is about three billion, five hundred and eight million, five hundred and fifty thousand, seven hundred and sixty-two naira. And street value of tramadol that is being destroyed today is estimated to be N1, 708,750,000”, she stated.

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The NAFDAG DG, who called for stiffer penalties for smugglers of regulated drugs into the country, said thirteen containers of banned and unregulated tramadol and diclofenac released to the Agencyby the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) were scheduled for destruction at the site.

NAFDAC Destroys Banned Tramadol, Codeine Worth Over N 3.5 Billion
Some of the rebagged sugars that were destroyed at the site

Of particular interest, among the drugs to be destroyed, according to the DG, were smuggled substandard Brazillian sugars, rebagged in the name of a popular brand. This was done by a business woman named Mrs Esther Akinsanya, with her company located in Lagos, and she specialised in rebagging of smuggled products. “Her case has been prosecuted at the Federal High Court, Lagos, and the court ordered the destruction of the items”, said the DG.

Prof. Adeyeye, however, expressed her appreciation to the First Lady of Ogun State, NCS, NDLEA, Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and other staff of the Agency, for their efforts towards the success of the exercise.

Commending the NAFDAC DG and her team for their dedication towards reducing the burden of drug abuse in the country, Dr Amosu said it takes good leadership like that of Prof. Adeyeye to walk her talk, and remain committed to the course of the nation.

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While casting a vote of confidence on her, Amosu said she will continue to trust this NAFDAC administration for the best performance. She however mentioned the need for an incinerator for such exercise in the nearest future.

Dr Ipaye on his own appreciated  Prof. Adeyeye for the success achieved by the Agency so far, noting that it was the best form of intervention that is needed at this critical moment in the nation.

While relaying the activities of his ministry to the DG, the Ogun State Health Commissioner said they have been able to close down 280 illegal facilities in the state, in the last two years, and more is still ongoing in the state.

 

 

 

 

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