Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industrial Limited, one of the companies implicated in the illegal manufacture and distribution of codeine-contained syrup, says it was made “the key selling point” of the exposé.
‘Sweet sweet codeine’, a documentary which aired on BBC, revealed how some corrupt officials of big pharmaceutical companies conspire with distributors to make the cough syrup available in the open market.
During a press conference in Lagos on Sunday, Uzoma Ezeoke, an executive director at the company, said: “Unfortunately, we found ourselves as a key selling point for that documentary. All eyes were on us even when others were mentioned.”
After the documentary aired, the federal government banned the production and importation of codeine in the country.
Emzor and two other companies, Standard Pharmaceutical Limited and Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited, were shut down by the the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The shutdown order on the pharmaceutical companies has since been lifted.
In her address, Stella Okoli, chief executive officer of the company, said it became necessary to interact with the media because of the events of the past few weeks.
“We have been inundated with requests. I think that we are strengthening democracy. We are deeply touched to know that our hopes, our future, the youths of this country are having issues with drug abuse or prescription drugs,” she said.
“My heart reaches out to the family that are affected. This is a social problem. We shall all work together to overcome this problem. All of us must join our hands in harmony, in peace, in love, in friendship to solve the problem.
“As you know, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries is a major player in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 40 years providing high quality but affordable medicine to all Nigerians.
“You have rewarded us with your confidence. You have rewarded us with your comments. You are actually those that help us to advance the quality of our products.”