By Sola Ogundipe
LAGOS State Governor,Â Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has been called upon by the State branch of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) to put a check on activities of the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) under the Lagos State Health Reforms Law.
Fashola is also urged to critically appraise the legal imperatives of redressing perceived lapses in registered pharmacies in the State, by prevailing on the Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris to permit due process of allowing the Pharmacistsâ€™ Concil of Nigeria (PCN) disciplinary process/Investigating Panel and Disciplinary Tribunal take initiative of handling the the matters on a professional platform .
A letter to this effect signed by Chairman of the Association, Pharm Felix Anieh urged the Governor to urgently review all the relevant laws govering regulation of pharmacy practice in the State, with a view to resolving the preveiling impasse intended to portray the their members in bad light.
The letter entitled â€œViolation of Pharmacy Practice in Lagos State,Â said it had become imperative to draw the Governorâ€™s attention to glaring procedural defects in tackling some alleged violations by some registered Community Pharmacies in the State.
The letter reads in part: â€œOn Thursday October 22, 2009, the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency a creation of the Lagos State Health Reforms Law visited two registered pharmaceutical premises on grounds that the methodologies of their practice exceeded legal scope.
Drawing attention to alleged violations against Demsol Pharmacy, Ketu amd Deeper Care Pharmacy, Ogudu, the letter argued that it is not part of the mandate ofÂ the State Task Force on Fake Drugs to seal premises that exceed the scope of pharmacy practice.
â€œSome of the allegations in one of the premises was that it was monitoring the blood pressure of patients with a sphygnomanometer. Blood pressure monitoring in modern times is certainly not the exclusive preserve of hospitals, as even cardiac patients are now advised to monitorÂ their blood pressure on their own.â€
In the letter, Anieh pointed out that the fact that HEFAMAA had earlier imposed a N150,000 fine on the premises as far back as October 22, 2009, was beginning to appear that the State Ministry of Health was more interested in generating revenue at all acvost as well as trying to improve patronage of private hospitals in the affected areas.
He said drug matters are listed as item 21 in Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, placing drug matters and pharmacy practice on the Exclusive List of legislation. â€œ