Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) on Friday in Asaba said ten persons were arrested across Delta State for operating pharmacies and patent medicine stores below approved standards.
Director of Inspection and Monitoring of the council, Mrs. Anthonia Aruya who made this known during a press briefing, stated that the feat was recorded during an operation where a total of 212 premises were visited by the team.
She said the 212 premises comprise of 52 pharmacies and 160 Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendor (PPMVs),
Aruya said 165 premises were sealed comprising of 21 pharmacists and 144 PPMVs, adding that “seven compliance directives were issued comprising five pharmacists and two PPMVs for various offences ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment, poor documentation and dispensing of ethical/prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacists.”
She lamented that a lot of persons ventured into the sales of medicines without following the laid down procedure.
“Observation from the field in Delta State revealed that many people go into the sale of medicines without following due process, others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle medicines in their premises or are operating beyond their approved scope, some persons that were not permitted by law to handle controlled substances were found to stock and sell such products in disregard to the law further endangering the public,” she stated.
According to her, a good number of operators do not understand the laws and guidelines in the pharmaceutical landscape, thereby misleading other stakeholders or operating in ignorance that is not tenable.
Aruya said the raid was the first phase of activities of PCN geared towards streamlining the drug distribution system in the state, vowing that further action would follow in due course as PCN is committed to the provision of good pharmaceutical services to the good people of the state.
She advised the public to source drugs need from registered pharmacy outlets and over the counter medicines from registered PPMV shops, as drugs sold in unregistered outlets cannot be guaranteed to be genuine.
She pointed out that pharmaceutical facilities that are not registered by PCN have not subjected to regulatory control that would promote the maintenance of the integrity of such products down the chain, explaining that “medicines from such facilities cannot be guaranteed to have the same quality, efficacy and safety as set by the manufacturers.”
She added that the law requires that all pharmaceutical facilities where drugs are manufactured, sold, warehoused, distributed be registered by PCN and ensure continuous licensure of same to legally key into the drug distribution chain.