June 9, 2009

Lagos to prosecute illegal patent medicine stores operators

By Olasunkanmi Akoni
THE Lagos State Government has sealed off another six patent medicine stores, two pharmacies and arrested four suspects in Epe area of Lagos even as it said the suspects will soon be arraigned according to the state law.

The state government had last week sealed 19 patent medicine stores, one pharmaceutical shop and arrested eight operators in Bariga area of the state.

The exercise was carried out by the state Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods.

Speaking, Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, reiterated government’s avowed commitment to stream lining the drug distribution system in the state in order to ensure the safety of the citizenry, noting that government has mandated the Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods to comb all nooks and crannies of the state for illegal operators.

Idris said the suspects would soon appear in court and tried according to the state law.

The commissioner noted that the shops were sealed for offences ranging from sales of drugs without licence from the regulatory authority, to failure/refusal to relocate from a market area/adherence to the mandated distance between a patent medicine shop and market place as stipulated by the law; and sales of counterfeit and fake drugs amongst others.

He urged the people to always purchase their drugs from a duly registered Pharmacy or Patent Medicine shop recognizable by a signboard indicating that such a pharmacy or patent medicine shop is duly registered and licensed.

The commissioner therefore advised operators of pharmaceutical shops and patent medicine stores to ensure that their activities are within the ambit of the law regulating their operations.