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.
L-R. Head,Sales,Marketing & Strategy, Gerald Oputa; National Sales Manager,Folorunsho Alaran; Mrs. Chinelo Umeh,Regulatory Affairs Manager;MAXWELL,the Wellocrat; GMD/CEO,Dr. Stella Okoli;ED,General Duties/ Finance; Muyiwa Kayode,MD USP Brand Management.
Democracy is defined as government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is reputed to be the most acceptable form of government in any civil society that worth its weight in gold. Emzor Pharmaceutical is taking a cue from this concept as it recently came up with a new coinage cum marketing buzzword “Wellocrat” a la Democrat. According to the management of the company, the new concept captures the company’s driving vision to ‘see a world where unlimited wellness is made available to all and is affordable by all’.
The buzzword as far as healthcare is concerned denotes wellness for everybody just as democracy is synonymous with government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Speaking on the vision driving the organization in her welcome address at the unveiling of the Emzor Brand Ambassador, Maxwel l- the Wellocrat, Group Managing Director/CEO, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries, Dr. Stella Okoli, OON, explains, is to see a world where unlimited wellness is made available to all and is affordable by all. As a first step towards achieving the vision, the company Dr. Okoli discloses has remained consistently true to providing high quality healthcare products made available at prices which create value for all stakeholders.
Having stayed true to its noble vision, the company established almost three decades ago , from that humble beginning, has become a household name in Nigeria and beyond, parading a range of high quality healthcare products that have earned the trust of the consumers in general.
“Our company was established at a time the industry was dominated by powerful multinational corporations and no one gave us a chance. But with each step we take, we believe our actions must be aimed at making our world a better place and helping people live a healthier happier life. For us at Emzor, there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing people healthier, happier and more active. For every healthy person who has ever used an Emzor product we find Joy and a million reasons to give thanks to God”, explains the Group Managing Director.
With all the above already taken care at the back end, the company had always believed that one day “we will see that ideal world of ‘wellness for everybody’ otherwise called Emzor Wellocracy”. Indeed, the above stated expectation became a reality last Friday at an event at the Ambassador Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos. It turned out as a further confirmation of the company’s solemnity at making ‘wellness for everybody’ a reality as the company unveils its Brand Ambassador to be saddled with responsibility of taking the message to all and sundry within Nigeria and its markets outside the shores of the nation.
The Maxwell concept is relatively unique. Instead of the popular idea of using a celebrity as Brand Ambassador, the Emzor unveiled Maxwell, is a cartoon character, it will be the harbinger of the good tidings of ‘wellocracy’ – wellness for all messages. Maxwell, according to Mrs. Uzoma Ezeoke, Executive Director, General Duties/Finance, Emzor, was derived from a combination of two critical words that mean so much to us in Emzor. They are ‘maximum’ and ‘wellness’ maximum wellness is what we guarantee our consumers. That is the root words for “Maxwell”. So the Brand Ambassador, Maxwell will spread the gospel of maximum wellness for all, she explains.
The Executive Director further discloses that Emzor has about 100 product brands including OTC Medicines, Prescription Only Medicines (POM) as well as hospital equipment and consumables on its stable. “All these our products in new attractive packaging that meets the highest international standards will be taken to consumers by our newly unveiled Maxwell –the Wellocrat”.
Also speaking in a chat with Brandcrunch on the rationale for Maxwell, Muyiwa Kayode, CEO, USP Brand Management Consultants, the Consultants responsible for this and other Emzor Pharmaceutical marketing and communication initiatives, emphasises that Maxwell aligns very well with the vision of the company.
According to Kayode, Maxwell as a cartoon character, it could be adapted to suit a thousand and one situations and this can be done with a lot of fun especially to the target audience. Apart from this, Maxwell represents maximum wellness, as a carton character, it cannot fall sick, it can go everywhere without getting tired, it’s am embodiment of Emzor’s vision of perfect health for its consumers and target audience.
“As the Emzor’s Brand Ambassador, Wellocrat will be deployed in a series of communications materials for the company’s various brands. It will take Emzor’s product brands to far and near for the company. It will be easy and fun managing Maxwell as our Amdassador”.
This is one beautiful effort at building real brands that will go places for the company and the country. The reality, according to the USP CEO, is that Africans are not building brands and that is why there is so much poverty in the region. “When you build indigenous brands you are creating wealth rather patronizing imported products. This is at the core of our existence as a company, we are very passionate about it and always feel very happy to work with clients on such project”.
Wale Obadeyi, CEO, Maximargins also reflects on Maxwell – the Wellocrat campaign, ‘maximum wellness’ as unveiled is a relatively innovative and daring campaign. Obadeyi envisages that when fully deployed, the concept might compel a rethink among brand owners who currently find it the ‘in-thing’ to deploy celebrities brand ambassadors. This submission might be apt when one considers the Tiger Woods and Oscar Pistorius of this world, similarly, many Nigerian celebrity brand ambassadors who have become brand ‘eroders’ no thanks their many scandals and emotional swings. One caveat, he pointed out however, Maxwell – the Wellocrat must be supported with viable campaign ideas every step of the way as it trudges on in its “maximum wellness” campaign.
Impressed with the unfolding campaign, the Group MD/CEO sees it as a new development in the life of the company confirming the Maxwell cartoon character encapsulates the company’s belief in a world where wellness is available to all and affordable by all. “This is the world of Emzor Wellocracy!”, she declares
THE United States Pharmacopeia’s (USP) Centre for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) has honored former Minister of Information and Director General (D.G.) of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili (posthumous), and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Dr. Stella Okoli, for contributing immensely to the development of the pharmaceutical sector on the continent.
The honor was bestowed upon African female luminaries in global health at the inaugural CePAT Honors 2014 Gala, last weekend, November 8, 2014, at the Moevenpick Hotel, Accra Ghana.
Presented by United States Pharmacopeial Convention, the official standards setting authority in the United States, CePAT Honors was created to acknowledge the unique and valuable contributions of African female trailblazers in advancing the global health sector, celebrate their capacity building initiatives despite the myriad of existing challenges in Africa, and empower future generations of female leaders.
The high-powered event featured a keynote address from the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Lordina Mahama, duly represented by Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Transportation, Mrs. Joyce Bawah Montgari. Dr. Stella Okoli, CEO and Managing Director of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Nigeria, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Executive Vice Chairman, Famfa Oil Limited. Prof. Akunyili was presented with the award by a representative of the DG NAFDAC, Dr. Monica Eiumjeze.
Additional award recipients included: Ms. Margareth Ndomondo-Sigonda, Pharmaceutical Coordinator—AMRH Programme, African Union—New Partnership for Africa’s Development; Dr. Alexandra E. Graham, Executive Vice President, LaGray Inc., U.S.A., Co-founder, LaGray, Ghana; and Ms. Esnat Mwape, Director General, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority
The gala served as a launching platform for CePAT’s Women in Science Exchange (W.I.S.E) program, created to coach entry level, mid-career female scientists into leadership and other highly skilled positions through the provision of post studies mentorships, training and educational opportunities.
According to Dr. Patrick Lukulay, CePAT Founder and Vice President of the Global Health Impact Programs at USP, “CePAT and USP are synonymous with standards across the globe. As a result, we acknowledge African women who apply this elevated level of excellence to advancing medicines regulation and quality assurance in Africa. They ultimately serve as an inspirational platform for the next generation of female trailblazers”.