The Federal Government has inaugurated a 16- member committee to review the continuous usage of Codeine, Tramadol and other related substances in the county.
The Committee which is christened, Codeine Control Working and other related Matter Group (CCRWG), has Prof. Oluwatoyin Odeku as the Chairperson. It has 4 to 6 weeks to turn in its preliminary report.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that it was very important to break the supply chain of the drugs.
The minister stressed that the government must prevent people from causing harm to themselves and by extension the entire society.
He, however, said that the rate at which people have resorted to drugs has necessitated the need to find out why they are using these drugs.
“It is not enough to destroy the products or enforce regulations, we need to find out why they are using these drugs,” he noted.
The terms of reference of the committee, the minister said, include: “To look into the distribution system of the drugs; how the drugs get into the market; how can we manage the system; are these drugs so essential that we cannot ban them and are there no alternatives.”
On his part, the Registrar, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), Elijah Mohammed, said that the safety and concerns around the use and misuse of codeine containing preparations are assuming frightening dimension in some part of the country.
Mohammed noted that even as the nation strives to create a sanitized drug distribution system through the National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG) and to arrest the issue, it must be aware that a large number of Nigerians are already addicted to some of these medicines.