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Rivers moves to check sale of fake drugs

By George Onah

Port Harcourt—In its renewed efforts at battling the sale of fake and adulterated drugs, Rivers State government has vowed not to allocate stalls to medicine sellers in the new markets under construction as well as motor parks in all parts of the state.

Vanguard learnt that drugs are currently sold freely at the old portion of Mile One (Rumuwoji) Market and patronised by operators of public and private hospitals.

Most of the drugs bought in this market are taken to some government hospitals and clinics in the state.

The State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Ogbonna Nwuke, said  yesterday when he met with the new executive of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Rivers State branch, that government would heed the call of pharmacists in that direction.

Nwuke said the issue of allocating market stalls to drug traders in the open market had attracted serious condemnation, especially as the law prohibits pharmaceutical outlets being located in motor parks, markets and other such places.

Sections 1 and 24 of the PCN Act of 1992, he said, specifically forbade pharmaceutical premises being cited in motor parks, market places, including kiosks and road side stalls and other such environment, assuring that the state government will ensure adherence to the provisions of the law in allocating the stalls.

He explained that the government would not allow traders to become a nuisance to the society by allocating pharmaceutical stores in the open market, contrary to the law of the federation and lamented the existence of quacks in the profession.

Nwuke said the state government would support the effort of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria to sanitize the state and enlighten the people on the dangers posed by illicit use of drugs handled by non-professionals.


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