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Tramadol, Codeine The House of Representatives propose N2m fine, 2 years imprisonment for offenders

Tramadol, Codeine The House of Representatives propose N2m fine, 2 years imprisonment for offenders - Image ~ Naijabang

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, proposed a
N2 million fine and a two-year jail term for corporate
offenders of the ban on Tramadol and Codeine in the
country.
Individual offenders, according to the proposal, will be liable to
N500, 000 fine and two years imprisonment or both on
conviction.

The Bill on it also stipulates that in the case of a corporate body,
all the directors, managers, partners and trustees would be
guilty of an offence and would be punished as if they had
committed the offence themselves.

The Bill, sponsored by Rep. Betty Apiafi (Rivers-PDP) seeks to
amend the Food, Drugs and Related Products (Registration) Act
Cap. F33 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The bill also seeks to review the penalties and confer jurisdiction
on High Court of the State to try offences under the Act.

Leading debate on the bill, Apiafi said “In Nigeria, between
January and December, 2015, 1,044 patients were admitted for
treatment in the 11 treatment centres currently part of the
Nigeria Epidemiological Network of Drug Use (NENDU) reporting
system.

“And, 28.3 per cent of the patients had an opiate addiction and
the opiates were mainly prescription Medicines: Tramadol (71 per
cent as 1st most frequently used substance and specified).
“Codeine (15.1 per cent) and Pentazocine (9.9 per cent), Heroine
and Morphine represented only 3.3 per cent of the opiates
declared,” she said.

She added that since 2015, Codeine had nearly overtaken
Tramadol as the most abused opiate in Nigeria.
“Thousands of young people in Nigeria are addicted to Codeine
cough syrup – a medicine that has become a street drug. Three
million bottles are drank everyday in Nigeria’s North alone,
according to a recent Nigerian government report.”

The lawmakers also explained that the World Health Organisation
(WHO) estimated in 2011, that 64 per cent of anti-malaria drugs in
the country were found to be counterfeit.
“It is assessed that counterfeit drugs provided approximately 75
billion dollars in revenue annually to illegal operators and have
caused more than 150,000 deaths worldwide,” Apiafi said.

According to her, we legislators must also do our part in this war
against commercialisation of illegal and unregistered food and
drugs.

Sections 6, 7, 9 and 13 of the Principal Act were amended in the
new bill which the lawmaker said was birthed 25 years ago and
had never seen any amendment or reform till date.
The bill was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to
a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
It was referred to the Committee on Health Care Services for
further action.

Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence

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