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Emzor Sacks Sales Rep over BBC Codeine Addiction Report

By Dipo Olowookere

The management of Emzor Pharmaceuticals has dismissed its sales representative secretly filmed in a documentary by a reporter of BBC, minoring the abuse of codeine in Nigeria.

In the report, the employee of Emzor was heard saying he could get a large quantity of the drug from the company’s warehouse and sell to the undercover journalist.

The report showed how some large pharmaceutical companies in the country were involved in the illegal sale of codeine in Nigeria and how they make huge money from the business.

But reacting to the report, the management of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said it was not involved in the illegal sale of codeine in the country.

It also disclosed that it has fired the sales representative because he breached the company’s regulation.

“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.”

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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