From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN) has linked the rising crime and criminalities across the country to easy access to stimulant drugs and other substances of abuse to criminals who operate under the influence of the drugs.
The Council said the poor and unregulated drug distribution system and increased activites of unregistered drugs premises have further worsened the situation, thus soliciting security cover from officers of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for PCN officers involved in inspections and monitoring of drug premises.
PCN Registrar, Elijah Mohammed, made the appeal when he led officials of PCN on a courtesy visit to the NSCDC Commandant General, Abubakar Audi, in Abuja, on Thursday.
Mohammed said: “Core mandate of PCN is to ensure national distribution and dispensing of drugs that are safe, effective and of good quality because medicines have proven to be very vital in health care delivery services.
“For years now, fake and substandard medicine have posed major challenge in health care system delivery. Manufacturing and distribution of substandard medicines have led to treatment failures and avoidable deaths in the country. The worst is the presence of unregistered drug premises across the country which has contributed, in no small way, the circulation of substandard medicines.
“Open drug market has become a source of stimulant drugs and other substances of abuse to criminals who operate under the influence of these drugs. Undoubtedly, proper regulation and use of drugs will go a long way in reducing security challenges across the country.”
He, thus requested the NSCDC Commandant General to direct his State Commandants to support PCN in fight against unregistered drug premises by assisting in arrest and persecution of operators of illegal premises in some states of the country.
The NSCDC Commandant General, in response, appreciated the effort of PCN to regulate drug distribution and usage, with assurance of support from NSCDC as regards security coverage during monitoring and inspections.