Pharmacists intensify efforts to sanitise drug markets
*Seal 283 illegal outlets in Zamfara
Pharmacists under the aegis of Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) have sealed 283 illegal pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Zamfara State as part of its mandate to ensure rational distribution, dispensing of medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality to the public.
The Council is charged with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the education, training and practice of pharmacy in all aspects and ramifications.
Speaking to Journalists, Director, Inspection and Monitoring PCN, Mrs Anthonia O. Aruya said, many Pharmaceutical premises in Zamfara State commenced operations without fulfilling the minimum requirement for registration while others failed to renew their licences to operate such premises or shops.
Aruya said that it is as the result of the Honorable Minister of Health recently directives to PCN, to ensure that all warehouses and locations where drugs are stored, sold, distributed or dispensed are registered with the council.
She lamented that some of these premises stored products in environments where the quality, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products cannot be guaranteed thus exposing the public to serious danger.
The director added: “Others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle the ethical drugs in their facilities. The enforcement exercise in Zamfara is part of efforts by PCN to reverse this ugly trend and improve on the quality of Pharmaceutical services delivery to the good people of Zamfara State.”
Aruya said the council is actively fulfilling its mandate by carrying out enforcement as they have visited Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ebonyi, Kwara, Benue, Delta, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, Abuja, Nassarawa, Cross Rivers, Ogun, Kaduna, Taraba, Edo, Enugu and Abia States.
“National Assembly gave the PCN a marching order to close down all illegal premises nationwide. The premises were sealed for various offences some of which include operating without registration with PCN, failure to renew premises license, dispensing ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist and poor sanitary,” she said.
Furthermore she explained that Pharmaceutical facilities are expected to fulfil certain conditions in line with the PCN guidelines before registration because not every location is suitable for Pharmaceutical business.
Aruya added: “Owners of unregistered facilities have been visiting the PCN, Zamfara State Office to regularize their registration status since the commencement of the exercise. The PCN is making every effort to promptly attend to them and ensure that their facilities meet minimum requirements in line with laid down regulations.”
The Director urged the public to purchase their medicines from licensed Pharmacies and simple household remedies from licensed Patent and Propriety Medicines shops as the council cannot guarantee that drugs sold in unregistered outlets are of the same integrity as specified by the manufacturers since they have not submitted to regulation that ensures maintenance of appropriate standards for handling such products.