Pharmacists have called for a holistic approach in tackling problem of drug abuse, which had resulted in the Federal Government placing a ban on further issuance of permits for importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough therapy preparations. National Chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Albert Kelong Alkali said banning a particular product, codeine ingredient, was not an outright solution to solving the problem of drug abuse in the country.
However, he asserted that adopting a multisectorial approach involving the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other drug control regulators would ensure drug tracking from the manufacturers to the end users.
He said: “We should be able to account for all the drugs that are manufactured and imported into this country.
If we have such a tracking system in place, then the issue of drug abuse will be reduced to the barest minimum. “So, the drug distribution system channel must be structured and the new National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG) should be implemented.
“We are still afraid that the deadline for the implementation of the new NDDG, January 2019 might not be met. “They should be able to know that there is a drug that is being abused, investigate to find out where the abuse is coming from,” adding that with the current development, every relevant stakeholder would sit up.