Codeine Clampdown Ripples

By Soni Ehi ASUELIMEN

 

A few days after report of abuse of codeine in cough syrups, federal government of Nigeria clamped down on its production, without any evidence the initial three pharmaceutical firms shut have contravened the law.

The long idle NAFDAC has suddenly woken to apprehend distribution of another legitimate pain killer Tramadol, with Custom officials impounding container loads. My question, is there any medication that is not abused in Nigeria? Mention any medicine to induce sleep and treat insomnia that provoke heart disease that is not abused, is it even ordinary alcohol? 

My fear is that these essential pain drugs used in all hospitals may become scarce, unaffordable because of panic reaction of an incompetent, direction-less administration. 

Repercussions are that pain patients with heart, lung, cancer, arthritis, rheumatism, diseases will be made to die or suffer because of the reckless foolishness of a failed government.

Before we know, local pharmaceutical firms would be sent to retrench employees. Fakes of these drugs will flood the market and fake medicine importers will flood the market and make rogue regulators to smile. 

Has this limp government and regulator sought counsel of established drug agencies, professional institutions before embarking on this stupid clampdown on codeine and tramadol, which may worsen national health which pmb has failed woefully to remedy?

If the FG chases out these legitimate medicine to relieve children and elderly of serious pains, what is his alternative, since most of our SaiBaba electorate can’t afford treatment in London?

Since pmb as military head of state senselessly executed three boys for cocaine trafficking abroad, has the crime abated, has Indian hemp smoking and trafficking in Nigeria stopped, especially when Western countries have decriminalized cannabis use, now prescribed to kill severe pains of chronic disease?

This is more so as Canada is inviting importation of cannabis to satisfy it’s health needs while Nigeria burns cannabis farms countrywide, refusing to take benefit of comparative advantage. Yet, government Nigeria rushes to squander oil money reserves for vital projects and for rainy day.

Essential food imports we cannot produce locally have been banned, restricted, such as rice, frozen chicken, turkey, meat and starvation from lack of money to buy goods is ravaging.

 Devaluation of Naira and rabid hike in petrol price based on IMF push, two killer policies sane government avoid, finished this dumb government. 

Tragedy is that government has no capacity to know the twin policy foolishness, which is why, out of desperation of a drowning man to cling to any straw no matter how weak, it thinks America will support Nigeria’s survival by borrowing Billions of Dollars to buy weapons, and opening a waiver hole for America to flood us with unaffordable products.

Sony ASUELIMEN writes via

soniasuelimen@yahoo.com