Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), has sealed up 585 premises and 9 illegal pharmacies for various offences in Gombe state.
The Director and Head of Inspection and Monitoring Department of PCN, Mrs Anthonia Aruya, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Gombe on the “enforcement exercise” conducted by the council in parts of the State.
Aruya who said the facilities were sealed up for not complying to professional standards, said the exercise was embarked base on the marching order by the national assembly and the federal ministry of health, following the codeine outbreak and to safeguard public health and reduce numbers of avoidable deaths through unwholesome practices, by illegal practitioners.
“At the end of the exercise a total of 700 premises comprising of 26 pharmacies and 674 Patent and Propriety Medicine Vendors, (PPMVs), were visited, 596 premises were sealed, comprising 9 pharmacies, 585 PPMVs 19 PMSs and 3 pharmacies for various offences ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment and poor documentation, dispensing ethical prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacist.” She said.
While lamenting the alarming situation in the state, Aruya said. “Observation from the field in Gombe state revealed that many people go into sale of medicines without following due process, others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle medicines in their premises or are operating beyond their approved scope, many shops were found to stock and sell controlled substances in disregard of the law further endangering the public. It is also quite disheartening that some cannot communicate in plain English and operate these illegal shops at will to the detriment of the unsuspecting public.”
Aruya who said the implications of such actions to public health is beyond imagination, lamented that many people in the country often endangered their lives and those of their loved ones through improper use of medicines simply because they are not conscious of “the fact that all drugs are poisons and so they must be properly used
She said PCN is determined and committed to ensuring rational distribution and dispensing of medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality to the public.
She then warned members of the general public to always purchase their medicines from licensed pharmacies.
“The general public is advised to ask for the registration status by requesting for licences from any pharmaceutical outlet to safeguard themselves from patronising quacks”
According to her, the council cannot guarantee that drugs sold in unregistered outlets are of the same integrity as specified by the manufacturers, since the unregistered facilities have not been subjected to regulatory control that will promote the maintenance of the integrity of such products down the value chain.
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