On Monday the 30th of April 2018, BBC Africa Eye broadcast a documentary on the abuse of codeine in Nigeria and one of our products, Emzolyn with Codeine syrup was featured. The abuse of prescription drugs including codeine is a growing problem globally as well as right here in Nigeria and we were hopeful that the documentary would provide a comprehensive overview on the many factors contributing to this issue.We were dismayed by the implied comments made during the programme in an effort to link Emzor Pharmaceuticals with directly supplying the black market. The member of staff depicted in the piece was acting independently and by his own admission knew his actions were contrary to company policy and the controlled drug regulations. He has since been dismissed and reported to the police for prosecution.The documentary completely ignored the contribution of the rampant illegal importation and smuggling of these drugs into the country to fuelling the supply of illegal codeine onto the black market.We wish to clearly state the following facts:
- Emzor is treating the findings of the BBC documentary with the utmost seriousness and has launched a full and through investigation into its current processes.
- Emzor Pharmaceuticals is a responsible and ethical company with over 120 product lines, all under licence from NAFDAC and we adhere fully to the documentation guidelines for the handling, production, storing and distribution of products containing codeine.
- We have stopped the production and distribution of Emzolyn with Codeine, pending a thorough review.
- The Emzor Sales Rep depicted in the documentary is not a senior member of staff as was strongly implied during the programme, the title Business Development Executive is an entry level sales position. He is in no way a representative of the hardworking and law-abiding members of staff at Emzor. He did not transact the reported illegal sale on behalf of Emzor nor within our company premises and any representations made by him are in breach of company policy and ethics and were undertaken independently by him.
- Emzor is not involved in the direct sales to individual members of the public, neither do we sanction the supply of Emzolyn with Codeine in any way that breaches the Dangerous Drugs Act or NAFDAC guidelines.
- Our average daily production level is below 0.5% of the estimated daily amounts of codeine reportedly consumed in the two Northern States mentioned in the report. Furthermore, we do not supply Emzolyn with Codeine in the two Northern States mentioned in line with the directives of the respective State government.
- The dismissed Sales rep had access to limited quantities of Emzolyn with codeine for the purpose of onward distribution/supply to licensed retail pharmacies under his assigned sales territory. Also, the man referred to as Mr. Paschal of Stella Charles pharmacy is not an Emzor distributor as he claimed in the documentary.
- Emzor remains a socially responsible corporate citizen operating within the relevant rules and committed to conducting our operations in the most responsible and compliant way. Emzor has built a sterling reputation based on high professional standards and world class products for more than thirty years. Those three decades of hard work have been rewarded by more than 50 local and international awards and most importantly, the trust of the Nigerian people. We hold this trust sacred and will continue to conduct our business in a manner that demonstrates ethical leadership within our industry and will not allow the tainting of this legacy in any manner.
Emzor believes in developing our youths. Through the Chike Okoli Foundation which was established in 2006 to promote healthy lifestyles and entrepreneurship, we have trained, influenced and touched the lives of more than 2 million youths, many of whom have graduated from the foundation’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and are now running their own businesses.
Emzor will seek to make relevant and impactful contributions to the multi-agency discussions on the way forward that are sure to follow in the days and months ahead.
From the limited depiction of rehabilitation efforts represented in the BBC programme, there is room for much support and improvement in the treatment and rehabilitation of persons affected by addiction.
As an organization we will make efforts to learn more about the good work being done in this area and devise an effective means of contributing to this vital aspect of managing the problem and securing the National treasure that is our youth. We were pleased to find included in the just released statement from the FG the mention of plans to solicit the involvement of organizations with positive impact on youth culture such as the Nigerian Football Federation.
Emzor has been a proud sponsor of the Super Eagles as well as the male and female national football teams at all levels over the last four years and will continue to support the use of their influence in promoting positive behaviour and a strong sense of National pride in our youth.
We thank you for taking the time to hear us out and assure you of our earnest commitment to playing our part in the lasting solution to prescription drug abuse in Nigeria.
The Group Managing Director of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Emzor Group, Dr. Stella Chinyelu Okoli (OON.) was conferred with the Silverbird Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday the 23rd of February, 2018. The Illustrious Nigerian Industrialist and Business Mogul was bestowed with the award for her most profound achievements and contribution in the advancement of the Nigerian Economy. The event which took place at the Eko Hotel and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos was graced with a notable number of dignitaries.
2018 started off on an exciting note as Emzor’s Brand Ambassador, Asisat Oshoala won the AITEO CAF African Women’s Footballer of the Year for the second time in a row, making it her third.
To celebrate this accomplishment, Emzor Pharmaceuticals organised a reception tagged “Emzor & Asisat- A Winning Team.” Which held at the Ambassadors Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos .
In attendance were Dr Stella C. Okoli, OON, Founder/Group Managing Director; Mr Emeka Okoli, Chairman; Mrs Uzoma Ezeoke, Executive Director, General Duties (HR & Finance) and Mrs Stella-maris Nwaozuzu. Also present was Mr. Muyiwa Kayode Managing Director of USP Brand Management.
Several media houses were present, including The Guardian, Complete Sports, The Punch, Brilla FM and TVC to mention a few.
To wrap up the event Asisat expressed her gratitude to the Emzor family for their unwavering support and has promised to represent the brand in the best ways possible.
Despite technological advancements even in the medical field, Malaria remains a cause for concern as it is still the number one killer disease in sub-Saharan Africa and number two in the world.
In 2015 alone there were 214 million cases of malaria and 438 000 deaths. Sub-Saharan Africa was home to 88% of these malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths. (WHO December 2015)
Various measures to prevent and control malaria have been taken, yet the prevalence of malaria incidents is still a major cause for concern. The need for effective treatment of malaria is therefore inevitable.
Over the years, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, has been actively involved in combating malaria through the Manufacturing and distribution of high quality antimalarials like Chloroquine and Sulphadoxine/ Pyrimethamine (Maldox) and in more recent times, the WHO recommended Artemisinin based Combination Therapy (ACT).
In 2009, Emzor launched LOKMAL, her brand of Artemether/ Lumefantrine, which at that time was the first locally manufactured Artemether/ Lumefantrine in the Nigerian Pharmaceutical market. Artemether/ Lumefantrine also happens to be the first choice ACT in Nigeria currently, owing to its high efficacy and excellent safety profile in all classes of patients.
Driven by the vision and philosophy of making unlimited wellness available to all and affordable by all, Emzor has invested immensely in the production and distribution of Lokmal to combat Malaria Nationwide and even beyond the shores of Nigeria, with offices and distribution networks extending to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Lokmal is manufactured locally here in Nigeria. A proudly Nigerian product with certified quality and manufactured according to internationally recognized GMP. It is a convenient, easy to take antimalarial for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated malaria infection.
One of the challenges faced in effective treatment of malaria is non-adherence/ non-compliance of patients to dosage regimen. This non-compliance could be due to several reasons including, high pill burden and frequency of administration which results into patients omitting doses, taking less medication than is prescribed or discontinuing medication prematurely. This generally results in reduced effectiveness of drugs, treatment failure and higher cost of therapy.
Measures that can be taken to improve patient adherence and compliance include, Improving patient education, Simplifying medication regimen i.e fewer drugs , fewer dose, Simplifying medication package, effective medication reminders and reducing the pill burden.
This has led to the production of LokmalQS combi. LokmalQS combi is a co-pack of higher strength with a fixed dose combination of Artemether/Lumefantrine (80mg/480mg) and our flagship analgesic Emzor Paracetamol tablet (500mg).
This packaging will help patients to always remember to take Paracetamol whenever they are treating malaria and will result in quick resolution of fever, headaches and pains during the course of malaria treatment.
The added value of this packaging lies in the fact that the paracetamol is coming to the patient at no additional cost.
Hence the unique selling proposition for LokmalQS combi are, convenience, enhanced compliance and cost effectiveness.
By Pharm. Gbenga Obaparusi
Emzor Marketing and Sales team’s presence was felt at the 2017 ACPN 36th Annual National Conference held in Jos. The Theme for this year’s conference was: “COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS ROLE IN NATION BUILDING: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.” The company showcased its line of new products like: Emzor Para-1000, Lokmal Combi, Kezitil Suspension, Zemeth, Emxidine, and Emmox DT. Our Stand was graced with the presence of a notable number of Healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical scientists, researchers, investors and other dignitaries to mention a few.
Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited joined the rest of the world on the 28th day of April, 2017 to celebrate the World Day for Safety and Health at Work with the theme ‘Optimize the Collection and use of OSH Data.
The event was an occasion to benefit from lectures on the theme, transport road safety and meningitis. The occasion was well attended by representatives from Federal Road Safety Corps , Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment [FMLE] and members of staff. While presentations were made by Dr C.O Okoroafor, Asst. Director from FMLE, Dapo Omolade of Hybrid consulting, Joshua Mogbo of JEM Safety Solutions and Ogochukwu Doris Ayika, a public health professional from Zolon health care limited.
The second successful observance of this event was an evident demonstration of the management’s commitment to the health and safety as well as training of its workforce