From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) said it has sealed 301 medicine shops in Abia State in the past one week.
Disclosing this while briefing journalists in Umuahia, the Register of PCN, Dr. Elijah Mohammed said the sealing of the premises was a result of a collaborative enforcement exercise carried out with officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Umuahia.
Represented by the director of enforcement, Stephen Esumobi, Mohammed said the PCN enforcement team visited 394 premises made up of 44 pharmacies and 350 patent medicine shops.
He said out of the premises visited, 14 pharmacies and 287 patent medicine shops were found to have committed offences ranging from operating without registration with PCN, poor documentation, poor storage conditions to unauthorized sale of substances of abuse. While one outlet was issued compliance directive.
“Most of the sealed premises don’t have appropriate storage facilities, thus exposing medicines to adverse environmental factors that degrade and make them unsuitable for human consumption.
“Further more, these illegal outlets do not have pharmacists to supervise the dispensing of medicines to the public which has contributed to irrational dispensing of medicines, resulting to treatment failures”.
The PCN registrar informed that the enforcement exercise was one of the objectives of the new National Drug Distribution Guidelines to ensure that medicines remain safe, effective and of good quality as they transit from one level of the distribution chain to another.
Mohammed said before the commencement of the current enforcement exercise which is nationwide, the PCN held meetings with concerned stakeholders at various levels to sensitize them on the need to comply with regulations.
The PCN he said will take the exercise to other parts of the state in the coming week.