By CHIOMA OBINNA
WOrried by indiscriminate setting up of medicine stores across the country, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, has threatened to sanction pharmacy outlets that fail to procure and mount the new neon sign bearing the Community Pharmacy Rx emblem as from October 1, 2013.
Issuing the warning in Lagos, National Chairman, ACPN, Olufemi Ismail Adebayo alerted that there have been increasing reports of unregistered outlets in the communities, thereby endangering the lives of innocent Nigerians.
Adebayo explained that the Rx sign is a symbol with which the general public is guaranteed where quality medicine products and excellent professional pharmaceutical care and services are provided.
According to him, the public should watch out for this sign with great attention now before patronising any medicine premises.
“This sign guarantees you genuine and quality medicines, professional pharmaceutical care services, health education and drug information, counselling and proper use of medicines.”
While urging their members who have not erected the new Emblem to do so on or before 1st October 2013, he said: “From the month of October 2013, serious public awareness about the emblem will commence in both print and electronic media in order to redirect the footsteps of the public to the right path in meeting the experts and custodian of medicines for proper pharmaceutical care and procurement of genuine and quality medicine products.”
For the public to note the genuine emblem, the sign has been restructured with aluminium panel and bears the serial number of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, adding that any emblem different from it would be regarded as fake and would be pulled down with a fine of N10,000.00.
Reacting to newly introduced National Drug Distribution Guidelines/Mega Drug Distribution Company, Adebayo who affirmed that the duo would reshape the chaotic drug distribution system in the country encouraged all stakeholders in the health sector to key into the process with a view to rid the society of fake and substandard medicines.
He called on ACPN members to start pooling resources to form drug distribution companies in line with the government white paper to sanitise the system and contribute to Good pharmacy practice in Nigeria as obtainable in other parts of the world.
“The guidelines will ensure the availability of good quality, safe, efficacious and affordable medicines in the nation. It identifies source of medicines for every level of healthcare delivery as well as mode of distribution only to the recognised distribution companies and open market will be no more.”