From Chris Gaga, Makurdi
Forty-four (44) Pharmacies and 343 Patent Medicine Shops totalling 387 medicine premises have been sealed in Benue State by Pharmacist Council of Nigeria(PCN).
Accordingly, the PCN is calling on the general public to safeguard themselves from patronizing quacks by always asking for the ‘registration status of facilities’ where they access their medicines as well as request for the current licenses issued by pharmacists Council of Nigeria from any pharmaceutical outlet.
The Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria(PCN), Mrs Anthonia Aruya disclosed this in Makurdi at a Press Conference to mark the end of a one week inspection and monitoring exercise embarked upon by the council across the State.
Mrs Aruya who noted that the team visited about 556 premises disclosed that 16 premises comprising of 3 pharmacies and 13
Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors, PPMV shops were issued compliance directives for various offences ranging from “poor handling of controlled substances, sale and dispensing of ethical and prescription drugs without the supervision of a pharmacist, unhygienic environment, poor documentation among others, in the interest of public safety.
The Director of the inspection and monitoring team stated that the council was in Benue State in continuation of its activities aimed at sanitizing the system for better pharmaceutical services delivery to the good people of the state and nation at large
She said in line with the PCN ACT Cap P17; LFN, 2005 and Nigeria Drugs Distribution Guideline(NDDG), the enforcement exercise was geared at streamlining the drug distribution value chain to promote the provision of safe, effective and quality medicines distribution along registered and currently licensed premises.
“Registered premises are inspected and re-inspected in line with the principles of Good Pharmacy Practice(GPP) and are made to meet up with minimum acceptable standards before they are licensed to operate those premises. Premises opened at will without recourse to the council cannot be guaranteed to have standards that will maintain the integrity of the products within such facilities,” Aruya.
Mrs Aruya noted that medicines, if not properly handled and administered can be injurious to the end users, insisting that premises found operating above their scope of operation such as sale and dispensing of ethical products without the presence of superintendent pharmacists or handling of controlled medicines by non pharmacists was operating in violation of the PCN law.
“On this regard, Pharmacist is well trained and experience to handle all category of medicines while the Patent and proprietary Medicine Vendors(PPMV) on the other hand are only to handle over the counter medicine(OTCs) which has been proven to have good safety margin,” She noted.
While appreciating the State Ministry of Health, Security agencies and the media for continued collaborations, the Director urged people interested in medicine business to approach the PCN national headquarters and their zonal/state offices for proper guidance.
She reassured the public of the sustained workings of the council to sanitize drug distribution value chain in the interest of public safety, even as she solicit for further cooperation from the public.
Our Correspondent observed that so many medicine stores were seen sealed up especially in makurdi metropolis since Monday this week.