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PCN warns on rise in unregistered medicine shops in Enugu, others

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Registrar, PCN, Dr Elijah Mohammed PHOTO: Twitter

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has alerted Nigerians to the rise in unregistered medicine shops nationwide.

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The Council, at a press briefing in Enugu, after a week-long massive regulatory campaign, warned that the unregistered premises posed a serious threat to public health, could become channels for distributing of medicines whose quality, safety and efficacy have been compromised due to poor storage facilities and handling.

Registrar, PCN, Dr Elijah Mohammed, said the Council sealed 391 premises in Enugu made up of 90 pharmacies and
301 patent medicine shops for operating without registration with Council, failure to renew premises license, dispensing ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist, poor storage and sanitary conditions among others.

Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) is the Federal Government Parastatal charged with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the education, training and practice of pharmacy in all aspects and ramifications as established by Decree 91 of 1992, now Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act Cap P17, LFN, 2004.

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Mohammed said: “Medicines are very vital in the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria. This is because most medical
interventions are not complete without the administration of medicines “One major factor militating against rational distribution and use of medicines in Nigeria is the existence of unregistered medicine shops across the country.

Most of these facilities are operated by traders who know nothing about the therapeutic or pharmacokinetic profiles of the medicines they sell to the public. These premises pose a serious threat to public health because they have over the years become channels for distributing of medicines whose quality, safety and efficacy have been compromised due to poor storage facilities and handling.

“Also the motive behind the operations of most of these illegal medicine shops is profit. This has created room for unhealthy acts such as the sale of substances of abuse to
criminal elements in the society who carry out their nefarious activities under the influence of drugs.

Furthermore, it has been found that some of these unregistered medicine dealers sell expired drugs using false labels to conceal the actual status of medicines. This portends grave danger to the public because some drugs are transformed to harmful products after expiration.”

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The registrar said as part of efforts to achieve its mandate and reverse this ugly situation, the PCN established Pharmaceutical inspection Committees (PICs) and Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors Licence (PPMVL) Committees across the states of the Federation. He said these Committees monitor the activities of medicine shops with the aim of ensuring that they operate within the law. “Also, the national enforcement team of the council carry out its activities to complement the efforts of these committees,” Mohammed said.

The pharmacist said the PCN enforcement team has been in Enugu State since the beginning of this week and the aim
of the enforcement, exercise is to ensure that all premises where medicines are sold fulfil conditions with respect to location, storage facilities, environment, documentation and personnel.

Mohammed said at the end of the enforcement exercise a total of 524 premises comprising 159 pharmacies and 365
patent medicine shops were visited. He said a total of 391 premises made up of 90 pharmacies and 301 patent medicine shops were sealed for various offences some of which include operating without registration with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, failure to renew premises license, dispensing ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist, poor storage and sanitary conditions among others while a total of six pharmacies and patent medicine shops were issued compliance directives.

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Elijah MohammedPCN
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