The Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN) has enforced the dealing with the illegal activities of pharmaceutical matters across the country, with the indefinite closure of three illegal dealers for breaking the seal and 48 unregistered shops in Oyo State.
In a statement signed by its Director Enforcement, Stephen Esumobi, on behalf of the Registrar, Elijah Mohammed, the PCN said the Council’s enforcement team toured Oyo state from October 12 to 16, 2020 and closed down some illegal environment, while investigations continued ascertaining the status of owners, scope of illegal activities in those premises and their alliance.
Mohammed explained that as a result of this intervention, some premises upgraded their facilities to meet standard conditions for the repository of medicines while others have employed pharmacists to supervise pharmaceutical matters.
Stating that some owners of sealed premises refused to comply with guidelines.
“They broke the PCN seals and continued with their illegal activities. These premises are located in the following Local Government Areas of the state: Ibadan North East, Oluyole, Akinyele, Ona-Ara, Ibadan North, Ibadan South East, and Ibadan North West. This prompted this follow-up enforcement visit which was jointly carried out with the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),” the Registrar said.
The PCN boss reported that owners of three of these premises have been apprehended so far and efforts are in progress to apprehend and prosecute other suspects who are currently at large.
“The PCN will do all within its power to ensure that all those involved in breaking our seals are prosecuted,” he said.
Mohammed said an objective of the new National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) is to make sure medicines remain safe, effective, and of good quality, as they move from one level of the distribution chain to another before ending up with patients or other end users.
Further adding that one of the identified weaknesses in the distribution chain is the increase of illegal medicine stores that mostly do not have appropriate storage facilities causing medicines to be exposed to adverse environmental factors that impair them and make them ineffective for human consumption.
Mohammed further explained: “Furthermore, these illegal outlets do not have pharmacists to supervise the dispensing of medicines to the public. This has contributed to the irrational dispensing of medicines resulting in treatment failures and untoward effects on patients and other unsuspecting members of the public who patronize them. Also, the activities of these illegal outlets tend to encourage the abuse and misuse of controlled medicines with the attendant negative social and security implications.”