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PCN seals 391 pharmacies, patent medicine shops in Enugu

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[ FILES] Enugu

No fewer than 301 patent medicine shops in Enugu State have been sealed for various reasons, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has disclosed.

The Registrar of PCN, Dr. Elijah Mohammed, disclosed this at the weekend in Enugu while briefing newsmen after the council’s operations in the state.

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Represented at the event by the Director, Enforcement, PCN, Stephen Esumobi, the registrar said that 90 pharmacies were also sealed while six others were issued compliance directives during the exercise.

According to him, the offences of the affected shops include operating without PCN registration, failure to renew business premises licence, dispensing ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist, poor storage and sanitary conditions.

Mohammed said 524 premises comprising 159 pharmacies and 365 patent medicine shops were visited during the operation.

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“Members of the public are advised to purchase their medicines and simple household remedies from licensed pharmacies and licensed patent and propriety medicines vendors respectively.

“Those intending to start pharmaceutical businesses should get in touch with the PCN head office, state and zonal offices for guidance,” he said.

He added that the Enugu office of the PCN was doing everything to assist business owners who were ready to comply with regulations.

Facilities that qualified for registration as patent medicine stores, he said, would be registered and their owners trained on how to handle simple household medicines.

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“Subsequently, they will undergo continuous education every two years,” he explained.

The registrar, who said the enforcement team had been in the state since the beginning of the week, named the existence of unregistered medicine shops as one major factor militating against rational distribution and use of medicines in 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,” he said.

“These premises pose serious threat to public health because they have, over the years, become channels for distributing medicines whose quality, safety and efficacy have been compromised,” he said, noting that some of the unregistered dealers sold expired drugs using false labels to conceal actual status of medicines.

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