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Association of Pharmacists destroys N452m worth of drugs

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Officials of NAFDAC and relevant agencies supervising burning of expired drugsOfficials of NAFDAC and relevant agencies supervising burning of expired drugs

By Felicia Imohimi

Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has destroyed expired drugs worth N452 million in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The destruction of the drugs was carried out in conjunction with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), NAFDAC, NDLEA, among others.

Mr Sunday Ike, FCT Chairman of ACPN who spoke on Thursday in Kuje, FCT, while destroying expired drugs, noted that members incurred colossal losses as a result of the destruction.

He said that the drugs were willingly submitted by members for destruction in compliance with professional ethics.

“Today is one of the saddest days in our lives in the sense that we are destroying products that expired in pharmaceutical premises within FCT; we have to do it because of the ethics of the profession.

“We are not allowed to throw expired products away because drugs are poison. It is the requirement of the law that we gather the products after being confirmed expired by NAFDAC and destroy them, rather than disposing such products indiscriminately.

“These products are willingly submitted by our members and this is not a good day for us because we are destroying our money, the nation’s money worth N452 million without compensation from the manufacturers of such drugs,” Ike said.

The chairman however attributed the large number of expired drugs and other pharmaceutical consumables destroyed to non-withdrawal of such products by manufacturers as obtainable in some countries, as well as prescription policy of the government.

Ike said that companies should monitor their products as well as produce the quantity that is actually needed in the country.

The chairman also appealed to the Federal Government to revisit the prescription policy whereby doctors would be made to prescribe generic drugs rather than branded ones.

“There is need to revisit drug prescription policy of the country, whereby doctors will be made to prescribe generics instead of branded names, because once your prescription is branded, when you give generics, people reject.

“Such rejection accumulates drugs, if we are able to address drug distribution channels, prescription policy is revisited, and prescription coming from hospitals is generic, we will have fewer situations like this,” he said.

Mrs Chika Ukwa, Ethics Committee Chairman, PSN FCT, who spoke to NAN said the destruction was to ensure that such expired drugs were not reevaluated or get back into the system.

Mr Amos Aremu, Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Federal Capital Territory (FCTA) commended ACPN for willingly bringing out their expired drugs for destruction.

Represented by Mr Aje Oga, Deputy Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Aremu said expired drugs was injurious to health, adding that destroying such drugs would enhance the health of the citizens and residents of the FCT.

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