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‘Chaotic drug distribution remains major problem of pharmacy practice in Nigeria’

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The immediate past President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and Fellow of the Society, Olumide Akintayo, has identified chaotic drug distribution as one of the major challenges of pharmacy practice in the country.

Akintayo in an address on Tuesday at the Main Auditorium of the University of Benin during the Health Week organized by the Pharmacy Students Association of Nigeria (PSAN) said: “Perhaps the most fundamental of the problems in contemporary pharmacy practice in Nigeria is the insanity that pervades drug distribution in Nigeria. The Frankenstein Monster called unregistered or illegal premises remains the most challenging yet often ignored by the powers that be out of all the problems that afflict practitioners and by extension the citizenry.

“It all started in the second republic when business entrepreneurs motivated by purely profit motives invaded pharmacy in the import license era. This invasion marked the advent of sales and manufacturing of spurious and fake drugs. The leadership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria of that era protested this unpalatable situation to high heavens. Government which had shown its concern by placing drug matters on the Exclusive list for legislation responded by promulgating Decree 21 of 1988 as amended by Decree 17 of 1989. This Decree has since metamorphosed to Act 25 of 1999.

“Specifically, Section 2 of Act 25 of 1999 is aimed at ameliorating the problems of illegal drug sales points which remain the crux of the matter in drug distribution. Listed in this category are drug markets, kiosks, buses, ferries, train etc. Section 6 of this same law vests legal authority to deal with these retinues of illegal sales points on the Federal Task Forces and its allies in the 36 States. Twenty-eight years after the first set of laws on illegal sales points and the establishment of Task Forces were put in place; it is a matter of historical importance to document that they have not succeeded.”

Akintayo said the recently amended National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) which now seeks to open legitimate frontiers of practice to operators in open markets is a reform that must be allowed to work as it gives genuine Nigeria entrepreneurs in these localities yet another opportunity to get it right.



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