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Pharmacists protest against missing PCN bill, PSN, ACPN seek Buhari’s assent

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Pharmacists have shut down operations across the country over the missing Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) Bill, which the National Assembly has passed to the Presidency.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) directed its members nationwide to stage a peaceful protest and close shops for two hours to express their displeasure over the bill.

It was said to have missed on transit between the Presidency and National Assembly.

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When The Guardian visited some pharmaceutical shops in Surulere, Lagos, with the association’s monitoring team, the medicine sellers locked their stores in protest of the development.

They carried placards with inscriptions as: Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, To Stop Chaotic Drug Distribution And Protect Nigeria, Sign Pharmacy Bill Now, Dear Buhari, To Fight And Eradicate Fake Drugs, Sign Pharmacy Bill Now, among others, while asking customers to return later in the day.

Chairman, Lagos State ACPN, Olabanji Obideyi Benedict, who spoke at a media briefing yesterday ahead of the protest, said news of the missing bill, leading to delay of the President’s assent, was a national embarrassment and corruption meant to jeopardise the nation’s healthcare system.

He described the report of the lost document as ‘absurd and incongruous, noting that there are forces and enemies who have jeopardised the bill to cover up their involvement in peddling fake and substandard drugs.

Obidemi said the pharmacists, were protesting to get the Federal Government to find the lost bill through a two-hour closure of their stalls during which no pharmacy in the country would attend to any pharmaceutical needs of citizens, except for emergency medicines.

Also speaking, Chairman, Lagos Chapter of PSN, Bolanle Adeniran, said it was important for the President to sign the bill for the good of Nigerians, noting that failure to do so would be detrimental to the nation’s healthcare system.

Meanwhile, ACPN in Kwara and Edo state yesterday closed shops to customers for two hours from 12noon to 2pm to protest against alleged refusal of President Buhari to sign the proposed PCN Bill into law.

They placed notices on the entrance to their premises, urging customers to return by 2pm for resumption of sales and other services.

Kwara Chairman of ACPN, Adejuwon Otelaja, and his Edo counterpart, Felix Ndiukwu, said the development resulted from a recent directive of its national leadership after a national congress in Kano, adding when signed into law, the bill will be a powerful tool in the fight against drugs and substance abuse in the country.


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