The Senator representing Lagos East, Senator Gbenga Ashafa has described the rate of drug abuse in the country as “a threat to national development” and called on pharmacists to lead in the fight against the abuse of over the counter and prescription pills.
Ashafa made the call at the 2017 Edition of the Association of Community Pharmacist’s, Day, Lagos Chapter, themed: “National development,” with a sub theme, “The role of pharmaceutical sector in building a healthy nation: role of community pharmacists.”
Ashafa, who was represented by Dr. Rotimi Adesanya, a family Physician and Head of Ashafa’s Medical outreach team, commended the role of community pharmacists as first responders in the community health value chain.
He decried the rise in the abuse of prescription medications and over the counter pills which he described as dangerous to national development.
, Ashafa stressed, “I must state that the increase in rate of drug abuse, particularly in the dispensation of over the counter medication has become very alarming and a threat to National Development.
“Drugs like, codeine, tramadol among others have been used as stimulants and narcotics by a large number of our youth.
“To this end, I sponsored a motion on the floor of the senate a Motion on Nigerians involvement in illicit Global Drug Trade and increase in Domestic Abuse by Nigerian Youths and a bill for the amendment of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act. These legislative interventions seek to ensure that we overcome drug abuse in Nigeria.”
He therefore, charged pharmacists not to sell drugs capable of being abused indiscriminately.
Ashafa said, “I seize this opportunity to reiterate my call that community pharmacists’ should lead the charge in ensuring that prescription medication are only sold upon presentation of the Doctor’s prescription.