Pharmacists Council intensifies drive to free Nigeria of illicit drugs
• Seals 216 pharmacies, patent medicine stores in Lagos
In line with its mandate of ensuring rational distribution and dispensing of medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality to the public, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has intensified its nationwide drive towards making the country free from illicit drug practices and health related issues.
To this end, the Council has sealed off 216 premises comprising 30 pharmacies and 186 patent medicine stores for offences ranging from operating without registration with PCN, failure to renew premises license and dispensing ethical drugs without the supervision of a pharmacist.
Director and Head of Inspection and Monitoring Department of PCN, Mrs. Anthonia Aruya, told journalists in Lagos: “What we observed in Lagos State is that many premises commence operations without fulfilling minimum requirements. Since these premises have not been approved for the sale of medicines, the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines sourced from them by the public cannot be guaranteed. If this trend is allowed to continue, it will impact negatively on the health of the citizens of the state in particular and the nation in general.’’
Aruya explained that the exercise is part of its efforts to reverse this ugly situation.She said the Council is charged with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the education, training and practice of pharmacy in all its aspects and ramifications, and still maintain its standards that before pharmaceutical premises commence operation it must fulfill certain conditions in line with the PCN guidelines because the premises are expected to apply for location approval. This, she said, is because not every location is suitable for pharmaceutical business.
Aruya continued: “The PCN enforcement team has been in Lagos from the beginning of this week as a follow up visit to the one held in August. Various parts of Lagos not covered in the last exercise comprising of: AbuleEgba, Alagbado, Meiran, Hamadiya, Agege, Badagry, Morogbo, Ibereko, Wilmer, Kirikiri, Ajegunle, OrileIganmu, Epe, Lekki, Ajah, Ejigbo, Mile 12, Ketu, Ojota, Alapere, Oworonshoki, Iwaya, Makoko, Ebutemetta, Oyingbo, Yaba, Ojuelegba, Lawanson, Mushin, Ejigbo, Anthony, Maryland, Onipanu, Magodo, Shangisha, Ogudu, Ojodu, and Berger were covered during this exercise. A total number of 356 pharmaceutical outlets were visited, which consist of 222 patient medicine stores and 134 pharmacies were visited during this exercise.
“At the end of the exercise a total of 216 premises comprising; 30 pharmacies and 186 patent medicine stores were sealed off, For offences ranging from operating without registration with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, failure to renew premises license and dispensing ethical without the supervision of a pharmacists.”
Aruya also said that 43 outlets were issued compliance directives for offences ranging from poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation and others.
Aruya advised members of the general public intending to carry out pharmaceutical business to get in touch with the PCN head office located at Plot 7/9, Idu Industrial Layout, Abuja or any of the state offices for proper guidance.
She also beckoned on all stakeholders to follow the laws that regulate the practice of pharmacy in Nigeria, as the Federal government will not tolerate the indiscriminate sale of drugs without submission to regulatory control.
The director further stated the general public to purchase their medicines from licensed pharmacies and simple household remedies from licensed Patent and Propriety medicines vendor shops in other to ensure their safety.