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Pharmacists’ Council Seals Off 165 Patent Medicine Stores



The Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN) in its continued raid to rid-off fake and substandard medicine practitioners, has sealed-off 165 patent-medicine vendors’ stores across Delta State and arrested, in line with its responsibility, 10 fake patent medicine practitioners.

Pharm (Mrs) Anthonia Aruya, director, Inspection and Monitoring Unit of Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria, who made this known to journalists at a press briefing held in Asaba, yesterday, said observations from the field in Delta State indicated that many people go into the sale of medicine without following due process, while many others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle medicines in their premises.

She noted that some persons not permitted in law to handle controlled substances were found to stock and sell such products in disregard to the law, further endangering the public. Mrs Aruya disclosed that a good number of persons do not understand the laws and guidelines in the pharmaceutical landscape, thereby misleading other stakeholders or operating in ignorance which is not tenable.

She said: “this is the 33rd outing of the council covering about 28 states, in Delta State; various parts of the state were visited during this period. At the end of the exercise, a total of 212 premises were visited, comprising 52 pharmacies, and 160 Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs), 165 were sealed comprising 21 pharmacies, and 144 PPMVs. Seven compliance directives were issued comprising five pharmacies, and two PPMVs for various offences, ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment, poor documentation and dispensing of ethical/prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacist, and a total of 10 persons were arrested, and secured for prosecution.”

Mrs Aruya explained that as the first phase of activities of the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria, the regulatory process of ensuring the safety of human beings was geared at streamlining the drug distribution system in Delta State, adding that further action would follow in due course since the Pharmacists’ Council was committed to the provisions of good pharmaceutical services to the good people of the state. She however, advised members of the public to source their drug needs from registered pharmacy outlets, and over the counter medicines (OTCS) from registered PPMV shops as drugs sold in unregistered outlets cannot be guaranteed to be genuine.

According to the PCN boss, the expected outcome of the exercises, were the entrenchment of National Drug Distribution in line with the National Drug Distribution Policy of the Federal Government and compliance to the laws guiding the pharmacy profession leading to the provision of safe, quality and efficacious medicines down the distribution chain.