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Pharmacists to unfold strategies for combating drug abuse

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Codeine Syrup abuse

Pharmacists, under the aegis of the Board of Fellow (BoF) of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), have promised to unveil strategies for combating drug abuse at their mid-year meeting scheduled from Tuesday, June 26 to Thursday, June 28, 2018.

The pharmacists, at a press briefing in Lagos yesterday, said over 90 per cent of drugs circulating in the country are dished out by non-pharmacists and that there is no legislation that protects the practice in the country.

The pharmacists, including the past chairmen of the BoF (PSN), members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the BoF and the chairman of the mid-year meeting organising committee members, however, said a bill that could address the anomaly had scaled through the National Assembly and is now awaiting presidential assent.

They said the bill, when signed into law, would ensure that the regulatory arm of the PSN, the Pharmacist’s Council of Nigeria (PCN), is properly armed to do its work.

“We have a situation where the PCN does not have any power backing it,” they said.

Chairman, BoF (PSN), Chiedu Ojike Mordi, said: “The ravaging effects of drug abuse are palpable in every nook and cranny of Nigeria. It has assumed an epidemic dimension.

As a result of the threat posed by the scourge, the BoF shall unfold in the course of the conference a holistic approach of our plans for combating this problem.

Our strategy will comprise short, medium and long-term solutions. The project is quite ambitious, but it is do-able.”

Mordi, who stated that fire-brigade of banning codeine and tramadol would not solve the problem but better regulatory efforts to make sure that these drugs do not get to the people that use them, said: “The drugs are available to so many people who are not supposed take custody of them.

The problem is the easy availability of these drugs, which are usually prescription medicines.

About 30 per cent of drugs used in this country come from Idumota where most of the marketers are not pharmacists.

“Also, about 45 per cent of the drugs in circulation in Nigeria come from Onitsha, Aba and Kano. So, these drugs get into the wrong hands.


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