From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
No fewer than 520 medicinal outlets was yesterday sealed by Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) in seven Local Governments Areas of Kwara state .
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Thursday, the director and head of enforcement department, Pharmacist Stephen Esumobi, said that premises sealed comprised of 39 pharmacies and 481 patent medicine shops.
The PCN official, who lamented that the development was not peculiar to Kwara state, said that unregistered pharmacies and patent medicine shops abound all over the country, especially in rural areas.
“The PCN enforcement teams have been on the field in Kwara state throughout the week visiting premises in the following local government areas: llorin West, llorin East, llorin South, Asa, Moro, Oyun and Ifelodun.
“Observations from the field in the state revealed that while there is commendable level of compliance by some stakeholders, others have chosen to operate with total disregard for the PCN guidelines.
“So many premises are not registered with the PCN while a large number of those registered do not bother to renew their licences. Most of the patent medicine vendors are engaged in activities far beyond their scope and also stock products outside their approved drug list including ethical medicines and substances of abuse.
“At the end of the exercise, a total of 743 premises were visited. This comprises 594 patent medicine shops (PPMVs) and 149 pharmacies. A total of 520 premises were sealed comprising 39 pharmacies and 481 patent medicines shops. Eight compliance directives were issued for various offences such as poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation and non-display of premises and pharmacists annual licences”, he said.
Esumobi also said that the PCN stepped up its enforcement activities across the nation with the aim of promoting, improving and maintaining standards of practice in line with the federal government policy of streamlining drug distribution system in Nigeria.
“This will ultimately enhance the provision of safe, effective and quality medicines down the distribution value chain. Streamlining the drug distribution system is necessary because it is impossible to obtain optimal therapeutic outcomes from various drug interventions across the various levels of health care delivery system with the current chaotic drug distribution pattern”, he said.
He advised members of the public to source all drug needs from registered and currently licensed
pharmacies, saying that Over-the-Counter medicines should also be sourced from registered PPMV shops.
He also said that drug sold in unregistered outlets cannot be guaranteed to be genuine.