As relevant stakeholders and other categories of Nigerians expressed concern over incessant cases of drug abuse in the country, the Federal Government has been tasked to urgently implement national drug distribution guidelines as a tool to end menace of drug abuse and importation of substandard drugs into the country.
The Managing Director of Vangaurd Pharmacy, Mr Taofik Oladipupo Odukoya gave the charge on Sunday while speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the formal inauguration of a branch of the Vanguard Pharmacy in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
He said the Federal Government should not hesitate to implement the document on national drug distribution guidelines, which he said had been submitted since 2013 so that drug abuse and importation of substandard drugs can be checkmated in Nigeria.
According to Odukoya, who is a pharmacist, “there has been a proposal that has been with the government since 2013. We have been expecting its implementation since 2013, but they have shifted to 2014 and from 2014, they also shifted it to 2016. As of this moment, the current Minister of Health has said it would be implemented in 2019.”
He explained that “in any part of the world, any medication that enters Nigeria, whether locally produced on imported should enter into a database. So, from the manufacturer or the importer down to the community pharmacy, you can trace the movement of every drug. Once the implementation of this national drug distribution guidelines is done, it would be easier to know the people that will use it. For instance, they can say we gave you a codine preparation for about 50 people, how many people have you sold it to?
“Even if they are going to have a recall of a particular drugs used by people if such drugs have problem, just like it happened to car manufacturing, there is also a return plan you can do for drugs. They can say, we gave you 50, return 30 or recall every medication. It makes life easy for the entire system to see transparently how drugs and drug products are actually moving in the entire geopgrahical entity of Nigeria”, Odukoya remarked.
He, however, recalled that “Vanguard Pharmacy is a business that was conceived 11 years ago. The whole idea is that we have the intention of changing the whole entire landscape about pharmacy practice in Nigeria.’’
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