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PCN cautions against patronage of unregistered drug outlets in Edo

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[FILES] A lady looks at hand sanitiser on a shelf at a pharmacy. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), yesterday, cautioned Edo people against patronising drugs sold in unregistered outlets, saying they were dangerous and their authenticity could not be guaranteed due to poor handling and other factors.

Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Elijah Mohammed, gave the charge during inspection of Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors Shop (PPMVs) and pharmacies in Benin City, the state capital.

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He stressed that many operating unregistered outlets do not have the requisite knowledge to handle ethical medicines and substance abuse.

Mohammed, who was represented by PCN’s Director of Enforcement, Stephen Esumobi, urged Nigerians to source their medicines from registered and licensed pharmacies and over-the-counter medicines from registered PPMVs.

He pointed that the genuineness of drugs sold in unregistered outlets could not be guaranteed due to the effect of poor handling and degradation due to exposure to environmental factors.

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“This is the first phase of activities of the PCN put in place to streamline the drug distribution system and improve the level of pharmaceutical services delivery to the people of Edo State.

“Further action will follow in due course since the PCN is committed to ensuring the full implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines.

“Members of the public are hereby advised to source their medicines from registered and currently licensed pharmacies and over-the-counter medicines from registered PPMV shops,” he stressed.

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The PCN sealed 340 premises and stores in the state over non-compliance with guidelines on the distribution of patent medicines.

Esumobi disclosed at a media briefing in Benin City that 256 patent medicines vendors’ shops and 84 pharmacies were sealed.

He said prior to the operation, 22 compliance directives were issued to premises for various offence ranging from the poor sanitary condition, poor documentation to non-display of premises and pharmacist annual licences.

He said the action was not meant to punish operators of the medicine stores and pharmacies, but to ensure that they comply with the rules guiding the distribution of drugs.

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