Pharmacists laud planned national drug distribution guidelines’ take-off
Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have commended the Federal Ministry of Health for the laudable initiative of facilitating the National Drug Distribution Guidelines in collaboration with other stakeholders even as they expressed worry over intense politicking, which has affected the take off date.
The pharmacists, however, fault the constitution of the 26-man Technical Review Committee set up by the Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan. They said that the representation of the Technical Review Committee has not been extended to professional associations and trade unions in the health sector.
President PSN, Olumide Akintayo, in a letter on take-off of the national drug distribution guidelines in Nigeria addressed to the Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, dated March 23, 2015, said: “The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria wishes again to commend the Federal Ministry of Health for the laudable initiative of facilitating the National Drug Distribution Guidelines in collaboration with stakeholders in our country.
“We at the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria are worried in the light of realities that intense politicking appears to continue to take its toll on governance at all levels from the Federal and State Governments to Local Government Areas.
“The Honourable Minister will recall that the original take-off date and proposed sealing of all unauthorised open drug markets was fixed for June 30, 2014, a date which was postponed till July 1, 2015 a few days to official commencement in 2014.
“From all indications not much has happened since last year when the take-off dates were adjusted except the recent dialogue between stakeholders and International Finance Corporation in March 2015.”
Akintayo strongly suggested that the Steering Committee of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines is energised to immediately begin to work on realisable goals and targets of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines in 2015 as another postponement of the take-off date compels relevant stakeholders to treat the strategic National Drug Distribution Guidelines with contempt and levity.
The pharmacist enjoined the Federal Ministry of Health to reach out once more to operators in open markets to enable them strategise on how to regularise their business in tandem with existing laws and the National Drug Distribution Guidelines.
Akintayo in another letter to Alhassan on Technical review committee on national health act wrote: “The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has in recent times continually paid glowing tributes to the National Assembly and the Presidency for allowing Nigeria to have its first ever National Health Act.”
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